Highlight Your Homes “Good Side" In Photos

Staging your home to Sell

You’ve decided to sell your home and you’ve decided to hire a seller’s agent. Good choice! You probably have many questions for your agent but there is one that many people forget to ask. Do you know how your agent goes about photographing your home and how the pictures will be used?

Why is home staging this important?

According to the National Association of Realtors, 9 out to 10 potential buyers begin their search online. That means that the first impression of your home is going to come from the photos used to showcase your home. It’s always astounding when you look online at a home that is for sale and it has horrible photos or even worse, no photos at all. Knowing how your agent handles this part of the marketing is extremely important.

But you have a job to do too!

While many agents use professional photographers or have extensive experience in home photography, the old saying still applies. Junk in = junk out. It is very important that you help the photographer show your home in the best possible way. This goes beyond picking up the dirty clothes off the floor and putting away the kid’s toys. Homes look most appealing when they look lived in but not cluttered. So take an objective look around. Those 1000 knick-knack’s on your bookcase, while super sentimental to you, make the pictures of your living room look small and somewhat messy. Start packing away the chachkies and leave minimal home decorations on the shelves. Remove the small throw rugs that you have in front of the sofa and love seat. Area rugs tend to make rooms look smaller. Remove anything that buyers may not find attractive, such as your doggy crate or kitty litter box.

Think dust, dirt, and smudged windows won’t show up in the pictures? Think again. Most interior home photos are taken with blinds up and curtains opened because natural light gives the home a more appealing vibe. So make sure you take the time (or hire a professional) to do a deep cleaning of the home before the photographer arrives. Making the home shine can only help in the visual imagery the potential buyers will see.

Don’t forget the outside. The photographer is going to shoot the home from the inside and outside. Take a walk around your property. Put the wheelbarrow back in the garage. Move the kid’s bikes from the side of the house. Pick up all the pool toys. Trim the dead leaves from the shrubbery. Fix the bottom of the drainpipe that is off kilter. Walk to the street and look at your home from a distance. Is there a limb lying on the roof? Is your house number falling off? Is the mailbox in good repair?

Use a critical eye. Be open to suggestions your agent will offer before photographing the home. As you know, most times you only have one chance to make a good first impression.

For more on this and other important topics regarding selling your home, stop by and get your free copy of our Free Home Selling Guide.There is absolutely no obligation.

A Successful Sale

A Successful Sale: Early Real Estate Agent Help is Key

Before contacting your Raleigh real estate agent to list a home, most people do extensive amounts of repair and cosmetic work, get inspections done, and spend hours researching how to determine their asking price. Unless they have a background in real estate, they are often going at it based on the advice of friends, family, and the internet.


There is no reason to wait. Once you’ve selected a local real estate agent, they are going to be the best resource when it comes to preparing your home for listing. From providing you with a strong market analysis to advising how to obtain the best curb appeal, your agent will quickly become your sounding board, voice of reason, advocate, and friend. Click here to learn more about our local Raleigh Real Estate Agents.


You do not need to spend time and money fixing things up to “impress” them. It’s okay to let your agent see your home as-is. Let’s face it. You are emotionally invested in the home and may not have a clear eye for what needs to be done before actually listing the home. Maybe you feel that just a few minor repairs are needed before you’re ready to go. Or maybe you are putting off selling because you think the repairs are so major that you can’t possible afford to do them at this time. Maybe, just maybe, you’re thinking that you may just sell the home as-is and negotiate repairs with the potential buyer.

Wouldn’t it be nice to get a professional second opinion? An agents’ fresh perspective will help you see what major work may need to be done and what minor cosmetic work can make a big difference.

After living in a home for so many years, it is often hard for the homeowner to see the layout of the home differently. Your 4 bedrooms may have always been bedrooms: the master bedroom and the other bedrooms where your three children grew up. An agent can do an amazing job of speculating how others may view the home. Is there an opportunity for a home office, mother-in-law suite, or man-cave? By opening up the possibilities, your agent is able to open up the buyers pool and give you a greater chance of selling your home quickly and at a price that makes you happy. Isn’t that the goal?

So the ball is in your court, you can continue to spin your wheels wondering if you need totally new landscaping or will some fresh mulch and colorful annuals do the trick. You can rip out all the kitchen cabinets even though they may have just needed a facelift.

Here is our recommendation, grab your copy of our Free Home Selling Guide. There is absolutely no obligation and we ask for nothing in return. We eliminate all the pressure. No unsolicited emails or phone calls. We simply want you to know all there is to know before listing your home. Please let us know if you have any questions at all. We’d love to chat.

The Final Walkthrough: A Smart Homebuyers Best Move

You’re about to close on your new home.

SUPER exciting! But don’t let your excitement cloud your business sense. During the home inspection and negotiations there are bound to be things that were agreed upon and while it’s nice to have trust in other people, it’s also important to go to the closing table confident that you are getting what you’re paying for.

That’s why a final walk-through is crucial.

A final walk-through is your chance to check out the house one last time before signing on the dotted line. In order to be sure you have given the owner sufficient time to take care of everything and that you are seeing the home in its’ most current state, schedule to do your walk-through as close to the actual closing as possible (as in the day before or the day of). Here are some of the things that you will want to confirm.

  • While you should have received receipts for all repairs and had the option for a re-inspection, now is the time to see for yourself that all repairs have been completed. It is best to bring a list along with you of everything you want to check out to avoid arriving at the house and losing focus as you try to figure out which direction your sofa is going to face or what color you want to paint your daughters room.
  • Is there any new damage that was not there before? This could be caused by the previous homeowner on their moving day. Many people hire moving companies so they may not even be aware that the damage has been done. Regardless of the cause of the damage, repairs are not your responsibility.
  • By closing day, you will have already changed the utilities into your name and had them turned on to assure a smooth transition. Take a few minutes to go through the house and check the electricity, water, and any other service that should be in working order.
  • Look around the entire property. While your main focus will be on the house, you need to walk around the entire property and make sure everything is okay. Did the moving truck drive over the in-ground sprinkler system? You never know - so it’s good to have a peek at everything.
  • Did you have items in the negotiations that were to stay with the home: stove, refrigerator, washer and dryer? Now is the time to take inventory of those items and make sure they did not inadvertently get moved.

As you can see, this is a lot to take note of so be sure to bring a notepad and pencil. Don’t rely on your memory. Also, snap pictures of things that have you concerned. Documentation is your friend!

For more information on the final walk-through process and other tips you need to know on closing day, visit us at EREALTY & ASSOCIATES, INC. and request your free Home Buying Guide. No obligation now or ever.


Millennials Put a New Spin on Homeownership

We’ve keep hearing about millennials with regards to the workforce, relationships, and education. Now the older half of the generation is fast approaching their 30’s and they’re becoming a force to be reckoned with when it comes to homeownership.  The March 2015 National Association of Realtors reports that millennials make up 32% of the home buying market and the 2015 TD Bank Mortgage Service Index states that 50% of Gen Y’s are either “extremely” or “very” likely to buy a home in the next 12 months.

So why does this matter and why are we talking about it?

Not your typical home-buyer demographic

Millennials are flipping the script on what the traditional homeowner of generations past looked like. Many are choosing to buy a home as a single versus waiting to get married. Older generations were known to tie the knot, get their first apartment, and save for their first home. It is not uncommon for a 20-30 something year old to live with mom and dad up until they transition to their own (purchased) home.

The burden of student loans

It’s no secret that the amount of student loan debt is growing in leaps and bounds. In the Forbes article, How Student Loan Debt is Affecting Home Ownership, the author shares: “According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the average sum a student repays at the end of his or her education is increasing. In 2003, most graduates left with a loan (or several loans from different sources) that was between $10,000 and $15,000. But in 2012, that average increased to between $20,000 and $22,000.” Many things are taken into consideration when applying for a home loan and student debt is one of those things. Many new graduates, who are able to land a good job, started to create “good” credit while they were in school, and did not incur a ton of other debt, often have little to no issues.

Short-term vision

One of the characteristics of a millennial is their desire to be a nomad. Frequent job changes and relocations are part of their lifestyle. Few millennials look for a long term career at one place of employment and they also don’t buy homes with the idea of being in that same home when their grandkids are born.

Not afraid of DIY home improvement projects

Do-It-Yourself home improvements are all the rage. Thanks to social media platforms like Pinterest, a new homeowner can embark on a journey of painting, wallpapering, cabinet makings, bookcase building, landscaping, gardening, and backyard ambiance creations with little technical skills. Shows, like Flip This House, have younger home buyers not afraid to look for a home in need of a bit of tender loving care versus the parade of homes model. Now please don’t start sending me hate mail about my so-called generalizations of millennials. We all know that no group of people will all fall into the exact same mold. However, we also know that each generation forge paths that are different from the generation before them and the millennial approach to home-ownership is no exception.  

Millennials also are research savvy and do their homework beforehand. That is why we love to be able to offer our Free Guides for both sellers and buyers. We know there are a lot of agent choices out there and we fully believe people should be allowed to find out what they need to know before choosing. They should be allowed to get their questions answered without giving their phone number away to an agent who will pester them before they are ready to take the next step. So, enjoy your Free Guide and should you want to talk further, the ball is in your court.

Moving Onto the Next Phase: 6 Tips for Retirees

Moving Onto the Next Phase: 6 Tips for Retirees

Downsizing tips for Raleigh, North Carolina Seniors. At E Realty and Associates, we work with many Retirees who have outgrown the home they raised their Family in and are looking for homes that have less maintenance. When you are ready to make the move, here are some tips for a stress free transition. 

Are You Window Shopping or Buying?

Are You Window Shopping or Buying?

Are you window shopping for a home or are you serious about buying? Either way we advise you to get pre-qualified for a home loan before you begin looking. This will help you to look at homes within your budget and have more buying power when you are ready to make an offer.

Why a simple CMA Comparative Market Analysis is Not Enough?

Why a simple CMA Comparative Market Analysis is Not Enough?

Why a simple Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is not enough when you are looking to sell your North Carolina Home. E Realty and Associates of Raleigh, NC has the scoop on getting the most out of your home sales process with the best data dvailable. 

Buyer Beware! Why You Should Consider Having a Buyer Agent

While buying a home is one of the most exciting time in a person’s life, it can quickly turn into the most frustrating and disappointing.

There is often a simple reason for this turn of events. The buyer did not secure a buyer agent.

What does this mean?  

Let’s imagine that you and your spouse have decided to buy a bigger home in the wake of your growing family. You talk about the area of town you’d like to live in and begin to take Sunday drives in some of the neighborhoods that seem to be calling your name. We have seen an increase in Families looking to upgrade to neighborhoods like Cary, Apex and Morrisville. All three of these areas were ranked in Movoto's, 5 best Raleigh suburbs. 

So, you come across three homes that you would really like to take a look at and see if they fit your needs. Two of them have a realtor sign on the lawn and one is for sale by owner. You jot down all three names and phone numbers and start calling and setting up appointments on Monday morning. How exciting! During the week you visit all three homes. You are accompanied by the realtors on the two home visits and you and your husband go alone to see the “for sale by owner” home.  

Do you see any problem with is scenario yet? 

Who is representing YOU??? Who has your back? Who is asking all the right questions on your behalf? 

The answer, is no one. When you call the realtor listed on the sign in front of the home, you are being shown the house by the person who is contracted to do business that is in the best interest of their client....the seller. Any information you share with them regarding your needs, financial situation, etc. will be shared directly with the homeowner giving them the upper hand in negotiations. A big problem for you, the home buyer. 

When you deal directly with a homeowner in the situation of a for-sale-by-owner, there is also no one giving you guidance or making sure that the home is not overpriced and over represented. This is also a problem.

You need someone who is very knowledgeable in the home buying process which includes gathering all the information to help you make an informed decision, reducing your risk, and advising you of the current-market trends in Raleigh. Don’t count on the homeowner or their contracted agent to give you that info. Can you imagine them telling you that they would love for you to buy the home which happens to be a resale trap? It’s just not going to happen.  

So, what can you do to protect yourself?  

Secure a buyer agency. It is your right to have a professional agent represent you and protect your best interest. After all, isn’t that what the seller has? If you aren’t familiar with a buyer agency and what they can do for you, simply get your free Buyers Guide and watch “Home Buying Guide: Video 8- Why Have a Buyer Agent?” That will help answer most, if not all, of your questions and there is zero obligation. If you have any additional questions or concerns, we’d be happy to help! 

Buying Your First Home is a Big Deal

Buying Your First Home is a Big Deal

Years ago as I was going through with my first home buying experience, it came with a high level of frustration. While I liked the agent that I was working with personally, she did not seem to listen to me nor was her advice much help!

My agent was not listening to me!

Each time my husband and I went out to look at the homes that she had chosen, we would end up having to ask about the style or area that we were really interested in. She tried to sell us a home that looked like a blue barn and while that may sound a little cool, it wasn't. 

She kept pointing us to the area that she liked instead of where we wanted to go. This became very frustrating for me. I finally got in the car and drove around the neighborhood that I liked and found a home that I wanted to view. After calling my agent to set up the showing, I asked her why we had not seen this home? Her answer: "I didn't think you would like it."