Is a Career in Real Estate Right for You?

With the new year approaching, it’s the best time to be thinking of resolutions and goals you may have and how you can tackle them in the months to come. If one of those aspirations just so happens to be a jumpstart to your professional life, why not consider a career in real estate?

Since 1976, Intracoastal Realty has served southeastern North Carolina and helped its newest residents find their place in our coastal community. As such, our agents are some of the best in the region, and make it their mission to go above and beyond in every sale so that everyone – buyer or seller – walks away happy and ready for the next chapter. Are you ready for such an important job? Check out a few of the qualities we think every stellar real estate agent should have!

Independent and Motivated

To be a successful real estate agent, you’re going to need an independent mindset. Not only will you be setting your own schedule for the most part, but often it’ll be your job to track down the types of homes that your buyers want to view, catch up on the latest market trends, and even your salary. The more you sell, and the better you are at working with your clients, the more you’ll earn. Basically, you have a lot of the same benefits as being your own boss, but you get to work with an agency that can lend you some credibility and a ready network of colleagues to consult with when needed.

Flexible and Forward-thinking

When you’re working with individuals looking to buy or sell a home, you’ll find yourself rearranging schedules and finding innovative ways to make things come together on a timeline that fits everyone’s schedule. To pull all of this off, it’s going to take some quick thinking and flexibility on your part! But for some, these qualities come easily, so if this sounds like you then it might be time to consider your potential in real estate sales.

Sociable

One of the more obvious qualities of a real estate agent is that he or she is social by nature, so if striking up conversations with people you don’t know very well isn’t one of your strengths, it may be time to peruse your other options. But if you’re fearless in a crowd, eager to help someone out, and always prepared with a conversation starter, then you’re probably real estate agent material! Now’s the time to think about putting those skills to use to help others find their ideal new homes.

Love Where You Live

Finally, we feel it’s pretty important for every real estate agent to already love the location in which he or she will mainly work. After all, your job will be to sell not just the house, but the neighborhood, the local culture, and the eventual memories that your clients will have in their new homes. Even if a move to a new place is out of necessity, it’s important that new residents feel a connection and can ingratiate themselves in the area from the very beginning, and that’s where you come in! As a real estate agent and a friendly local, you can fill them in on everything they need to know to get started building a happy, thriving life in the house that you help them buy.

2019 is headed our way, and if you’re ready to dive into a new career then it may just be your biggest year yet! Stay tuned to our website for professional opportunities and trends in the real estate game here in southeastern North Carolina, and you’ll be ready to dive right into a fresh, rewarding opportunity.


Professional Home Staging Can Lead to a Quicker Sale, and More Money

By Judy Royal

All the world’s a stage, including your home. If you’re planning to sell a property in the Wilmington NC real estate market, you’ll want to make it as appealing as possible to the masses with an eye-catching first impression. Cleaning and fixing that doorknob that’s been broken for years aren’t the only things you can do to get ready. Home staging is the process of preparing your residence for the marketplace with the goal of making it attractive to the highest number of potential buyers through the use of the following components: artwork, painting, furniture, accessories, lighting, greenery, and carpet. Experts agree that a professionally staged home is likely to spend less time on the market and net a higher sales price.

“The first thing it does is it gives the buyer a vision and a lifestyle of how they can live in the home,” said Lyn Manning, interior decorator and staging specialist who works with many Intracoastal Realty clients. “It just sets up a whole visual appeal. When we go in model homes we typically like the model home, and part of that is because it’s all set up to visually appeal to and emotionally grab the buyer. It shows them that lifestyle that they can have in that home and helps them decide how they can set the furniture up.”

This is especially important in homes that have floor plans with irregularities, Manning said. Professional staging can smooth those out by adding visual items that might be similar to what the new owner would incorporate. “It kind of takes away that guessing game for a buyer who has seen that raw, open space,” she added.

Staging isn’t just for empty homes, though. Many potential sellers will need to continue living in their residences while they are on the market and open to buyer showings. While Manning can provide all the furniture and decor to stage an empty property, in a lived-in space she works with what’s already there. “The challenge is to show the homeowner that less is more and get them to understand that thinning out is really necessary,” she said. “I really need to use what they have, maybe adding a few inexpensive elements to dress up what they have, and that’s a key part of this. My job is not to critique or criticize how they have lived in the home or their choice of decor.”

The home staging concept was born in 1972 when Barb Schwarz left the interior design business and went into residential real estate in Bellevue, Washington. With a background in theater, she began to suggest to sellers that they set the scene for potential buyers. In 1985, Schwarz began touring the country to teach agents and decorators about home staging and how it can be an advantage when selling a house, and in 1999 she founded the International Association of Home Staging Professionals® (IAHSP®).

About 49 percent of Realtors® who work with buyers believe staging usually has an effect on the buyer’s view of the home, and another 47 percent believe staging sometimes has an impact on a buyer’s view of the home, according to the National Association of Realtors® 2015 Profile of Home Staging. The report, the first of its kind from NAR, also found that Realtors® on the buyer side believe staging makes an impact in several ways: 81 percent said staging helps buyers visualize the property as a future home, while 46 percent said it makes prospective buyers more willing to walk through a home they saw online.

Realtors® believe that buyers most often offer a 1-5 percent increase on the value of a staged home (37 percent from Realtors® representing sellers and 32 percent from Realtors® representing buyers). Additionally, 22 percent of Realtors® representing sellers and 16 percent of Realtors® representing buyers said the increase is closer to 6-10 percent.

For an empty home, Wilmington sellers can expect to pay an average of $1,595-$1,895 for home staging, depending on how many rooms need the service, and there is also a small fee for each month the staging specialist’s items remain on the property, Manning said. The cost for a detailed consultation that uses the homeowners’ existing belongings is $125-$155, she added.

So how do you get started when you have years or maybe even decades of accumulated goods in your dwelling space? Matthew Finlason, the host of HGTV’s television series “The Stagers,” offers these 10 rules for staging homes, according to an article on HGTV’s website:

  • Grab them from the curb: Add potted plants and flowers, pressure wash patios and walkways, weed the garden, and mow the lawn.
  • Make it sparkle: Mop, dust, vacuum, wash windows, and clean baseboards, inside cupboards, under sinks, and in closets. Also, be mindful of any odors.
  • Pay attention to color and light: Neutralize strong colors for the broadest appeal, and open up blinds and draperies to ensure sufficient natural light.
  • Depersonalize: Remove excessive personal items, such as photos, collections, personal awards, and electronics.
  • Consider replacing furnishings: Think about removing or replacing worn or outdated furnishings, and get rid of extra pieces.
  • Invest in new artwork: Breathe new life into your home with paintings and photography, which can be used to contemporize a room and add a splash of color.
  • Make repairs: Repair squeaky doors, chipped or smudged paint, and broken fixtures and fittings that you’ve neglected.
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint: Refresh a dull, dated room by brushing on some neutral color.
  • Don’t forget the floors: Get rid of worn carpets, and consider refinishing shabby hardwood floors. An inexpensive new area rug may also be a quick fix.
  • Spring for new light fixtures: Renew the look of the room by replacing old or dated light fixtures, door hardware, light switches, and outlets.

While these tips are a good start for any seller, they cannot replace the aesthetic details a professional can impart for a perfect look that can help you grab top dollar for your property.

Whether you’re in the market to buy or sell, Intracoastal Realty is here to meet your Wilmington NC real estate needs. We are a full-service real estate brokerage operating since 1976, and we currently have 12 offices with over 400 agents and staff to serve Southeastern North Carolina, including the areas of Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Southport, Oak Island, Ocean Isle Beach, Leland, Hampstead, and Topsail Island.