Wilmington NC Real Estate Blog

Monday Coffee - Pictures & Flood Insurance

Pictures & Flood Insurance

This week we are talking about getting your pictures NOW before Fall set's in, especially if you are thinking about selling your home in the next several months.  Why wait until the grass is brown and there are no leaves left on the trees?   Homes with gorgeous pictures from the Summer will certainly show better than one's with snow on the ground or Christmas lights still up Wink.  

If you are planning to sell your home this Fall or over the Winter NOW is the time to get those photographs, videos and drone shots.  If you would like us to help you get this going CLICK HERE... don't wait, pictures and videos sell homes!   Also, if you would like to review my marketing guide and home selling tips cick here.

Also, after seeing the horrible damage and how many homes in Texas and Florida have been flooded I just wanted to remind everyone that even if you don't live on the coast you really should consider having od insurance.  So many things can happen such as storm water backups, water damn breaks, ponds overflowing and even a neighbors swimming pools, that can cause "rising water", which is not typically covered under normal home owners insurance.  If you live in a federally designated high-risk flood zone your mortgage company likely forces you to carry flood insurance, but even if you don't live in a "high-risk" zone you should consider getting a flood policy as its an inexpensive add-on for one...

Real Estate Near Wilmington NC

real estate near wilmington NC

Real Estate Near Wilmington 

Wilmington NC real estate sales are continuing to see strong growth throughout the city and outskirts. In fact, the cities near Wilmington is currently seeing a huge boom in real estate sales and investments. This is due to the economy growing at a steady pace, which has resulted in more money flowing into the greater Wilmington area.

From luxury homes to waterfront - beachfront properties, real-estate sales in Wilmington NC and the surrounding areas are on fire. In fact, many investors from all over North Carolina and the nation are purchasing prime properties inland and near the water. 




Monday Coffee - Sept 5th, 2017

Happy Tuesday to everyone who is able to view this BLOG.  While it was one of the most beautiful weekends of the year in our Wilmington NC area we could not help but to keep our friends in Texas who are dealing with unimaginable situations from hurricane Harvey in our hearts and prayers.  Thank God we live in the most wonderful country in the world as the outpouring of support and help seems to never fail to surprise me, even with the incredible divides our people have with and against each other.  

As I write the blog and produce this week's video we are watching perhaps one of the strongest hurricanes in US history approach the Islands and then the mainland US East coast.  As of this BLOG post the models are showing Irma to head near or into the tip of Florida, but it just always seems to hit North of where they say early on so we are watching this very carefully.  I pray the storm would do the unlikely and head out to sea or maybe simply dissipate.  I have lived in Wilmington NC my entire life and been through my share of hurricanes and I would never wish one on anyone, but of course none of us want it to hit our area.  Again, we all have friends and family that live in areas that are already dealing with damages from Harvey and now Irma may land another blow.  We will get through it as long as we-all stick together in mind, body and Faith. 

As I turn my conversation to ...

Buddy Blake Team Now Hiring

Potentially earn up to $100,000+ Annually

The Wilmington, NC market is rapidly expanding! Our team has more leads than we can handle (and our current team literally can't keep up)!

We are a technology-driven real estate team with an aggressive internet lead generation system. 

Here's what we provide:

  1. LEADS—lots of leads
  2. First-class marketing materials and sales support
  3. Extensive back-office / transaction support / CRM
  4. A proven training program
  5. A respected, highly reputable team of motivated (and highly paid) agents
  • Consult with clients in order to discover their property desires; then find properties that meet those needs.
  • Participate in open houses, networking activities and MLS to enhance your sales.
  • Consistently network and market to prospect for new customers.
  • Guide 30 to 50 buyer clients through the home purchase process each year.
  • "Always be consulting" by providing your clients with your very best service and your very best advice.
  • Establish a prosperous and long-term real estate career by supporting and learning from other team-oriented agents.
  • Conduct weekend open houses to network with potential home buyers and sellers.

MLS Tricks For Pricing Your Home

Tricks for Pricing Your Home

As a homeowner, you cannot afford to lose money on the sale of your Wilmington home simply because you did not take the time to price your home according to its true value.  Under-pricing will leave you full of regret – and overpricing will leave you with a home that has not sold.  Home pricing is a balancing act, because you need to take into consideration not only the true value of the home, but also the local market conditions.

Price It Right!

Some simple techniques can help you determine the best listing price for your Wilmington home. These are many of the same things that REALTORS look for when suggesting possible listing prices, but a wise homeowner will walk into a meeting with a REALTOR already armed with ideal selling prices, rather than letting the listing agent set a price that may or may not maximize the financial return and get the home sold as quickly as possible.

Here Are a Few Key Points to Keep in Mind When Pricing Your Home

  • The price that you paid for your home in Wilmington has little impact on the actual value of your home today.  This is particularly true if you have lived in your home for several years or more.

  • The profit that you hope to gain from the sale of your home has absolutely no impact on the true value of you home.

  • You must remove emotion when determining a fair selling price for your home.  To potential buyers, your memories are not worth a price increase.

  • Your REALTOR'S assessment of the home’s value may or may not be accurate.

  • A real-estate appraisal...

People Deserve Real Conversations

I have been serving home buyers, home sellers, home builders and investors with Wilmington real estate since I sold our Wilmington area video and electronic stores back in 1998.  One of the reasons I got into real estate was a not pleasant experience I had with an agent who no longer works in our market.  This person was difficult to reach, avoided talking to me about challenges and simply did not earn or deserve the money I was going to be paying if my "spec" new home I built ever actually sold.

Fast Forward To Today

Now, let's fast forward almost twenty years and see how things have changed with all of this technology and instant communication.  Here in 2017 I find myself as a co-owner of RE/MAX Essential, wich around one-hundred professional real estate agents, which is now one of the top three real estate companies in our area after only six years of opening our doors.  We chose the RE/MAX brand as it is the number one consumer real estate brand in the world and the RE/MAX arsenal of tools for agents to help their clients achieve their goals is second to none.  

To personally provide for my family I have a small real estate team of eight agents and we sell around 300 homes per year in the Wilmington NC market, which is not a large market as compared to many in the country.  But, we have a steady flow of lovely people moving to our beautiful area for the beaches, low taxes, diversity and Southern hospitality.  In order for us to serve so many of our customers and friends I am constantly, to many of my teammates frustrations, designing and developing better ways to leverage technology to provide the very latest information, trend...

Buddy's Monday Coffee & Solar Eclipse

What an exciting opportunity to spend with my wife and three daughters to see such an amazing life-time event, weather permitting that is, and furthmore experience visible evidence, in my humble opinion, of the very existence of God.  Of course it's everyone's, in most freedom loving countries, perogative to make our own choice as to what we believe and to be compassionate and caring to all people no matter how differing our beliefs might be.  One thing is for sure, no matter what someone believes, we should certainly love and respect each other.  There is evil in this world and it must never become okay for it to be okay.

I came across a couple of really neat websites to learn more about how things will go tomorrow, again weather permitting.  Here is a nicely put together video by the Weather Channel that really shows a nice timeline of what to expect and what to look and listen for.  And then here is a website that allows you to enter your zipcode and see the times of all the occurences as well as how much totality you might expect.  Here where I live in the Middle Sound area it says we should have about 96%.  Try it, it's pretty neat.




Crooks are targeting real estate agents and companies with a scam aimed at indeviduals buying a home in Wilmington. North Carolina consumers have reported losing tens of thousands of dollars in this type of fraud.

The scammers hack into real estate agents’ email accounts and harvest information about deals that are in the making. When they see that a closing date has been set for a sale they contact the prospective buyers by email, pretending to be the real estate agent. In the email, they explain that a last minute change has been made and the buyer’s closing costs need to be wired to a different account than the one stated previously.

In some cases the hackers learn of the upcoming transaction by accessing the buyer’s email account or other means, but the result is the same: huge financial losses for the would-be buyer, and a fat payday for the crook. The Federal Trade Commission has issued a warning about this scam.

  • Never send account information by email – it isn’t secure.
  • Use a secure connection when entering financial information online. The URL (online address) should begin with “https.” That “s” means you are using a secure connection.
  • Before moving ahead with a transaction, verify information about the closing in person, or on the phone. Don’t rely on faxed or emailed information.

If you’ve been hit by this or any other type of scam, report it to North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein’s Consumer Protection Division at 877-5-NO-SCAM or file...

Buy a Home or Learn a Lesson

We are seeing more and more buyers miss out on their dream homes because they do not understand the current dynamics of our local market.  In many areas and price ranges we have less than a month's supply of homes for sale in Wilmington available which leads to mulitple offers and sometimes over asking price.

So the moral of the story is:  If you find a home you want and it's in a very hot area or price range.. BUY IT... don't try to win the little emotional battle, it is NOT a buyer's market.  Otherwise, you may lose the opportunity and then have to "settle" for something you really don't want.

You can always keep an eye on the latest inventory levels in different areas and price ranges by CLICKING THIS LINK


See Buckets Blake April This Weekend

See BUCKETS BLAKE this weekend courtesy of BUDDY BLAKE!! The Harlem Globe Trotters are in town this Saturday at UNCW's Trask Auditorium. LIKE our page and SHARE it to be entered into a drawing to win TWO tickets to see Bucket Blake and his team!



I'm so glad I found you

"My friend, Aaron "Marty" Martinson, wrote those words in a note to me. On the pages that follow, you will discover that he didn't find me.  I found him.  And, thanks to Marty, I remember a few things about life that I hadn't really thought about for a long time.  

For years I had grand visions of writing a book about a leader who changed the course of history.  I filled my personal library with biographies of presidents and statesmen.  I wanted to understand what made their lives great - and what might be missing from mine.

In looking for answers I turned to books written by people who are "successful" in business and industry.  For a while I searched for excellence, then I compared my habits to those of highly effective people.  More recently, I tried to figure out which mouse I was in the pursuit of the cheese.  Like millions of people, I thought success equaled happiness.  

The book I've written, though, is about a simple man who ran a cash register.  He worked hard and was good to people.  That, in turn, made him happy.

Can it be so simple? so free of complications?  Marty thought so.  He showed me how to be a better person, not one wealthier or more successful or more powerful.

He changed my life-forever."

Introduction of "The Richest Man In Town" by V.J. Smith

This book is no longer available from Amazon, unless you find it used.  You can find some at the authors website and I highly recommend you getting it. If you live in the Wilmington area and would like to borrow the book I have some I will loan you.  It's...

Are You Really Ready To Sell?

Dinner conversation centers around homes of all issues and predicaments for Buddy and I. From the new listings coming on board to anxious client closings pushed off. We dine over all the in between – lack of showings, heartless feedback on many showings, delivering due diligence news regarding repairs, contracts coming in and contracts falling apart.

I felt an urge of divine proportions and posed the idea to my realtor.  “Let’s put the house up for sale.  “Really? You’re sure?”   Of course I was sure. I know it ALL. This is our world!

Marriage to a REALTOR© has advantages.  A pet peeve of any real estate broker (at least mine) is an unkempt home. (Let me clarify unkempt: lawn overgrown, faulty air conditioning units, paint peeling, floor boards cracked. NOT: the hot mess of children and animals in the living areas.) We’d breeze through due diligence after having our choice of the many buyers. 

Sign, lockbox, let’s go. Sure, I can pack the dogs in the car with me for the showings we will endure. Easy peasy…

Buddy scheduled pictures to be taken by a professional company, measurements and floor plan to be sketched and we cleaned! Our garbage cans were overflowing!  A shredding truck along with drop off after drop off to Habitat for Humanity enabled a pathway for buyers to walk through when in garage and storage area.  

Practice for a showing, I straightened and gathered everyone to head out while Buddy met with the photographer. Hours later we returned home, quarantined to our playroom as they finished “shooting” upstairs. I never spend too much time in the playroom if I don’t have to, could stand to be organized a bit. Also, the idea of keeping the dogs in the car during showings needed to be revamped. I felt like their dog stench was in my hair. One of them wouldn’t give up the effort of digging out through the floor board.


Monday Morning Coffee - March 6 2017

"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it."   - Steve Jobs

Watch Steve Jobs infamous Stanford commencement speech which has been viewed over 26 Million times on youtube.


How To Live In Your Listed Home

Many people that have their Wilmington home for sale end up living in their homes, even after they're listed. Here’s some tips to help you live in your home between showings and open houses.

Start packing now. Get a head start. To reduce clutter in your home, the key is to get rid of excess items. Store, sell, chuck, or donate these items. Buyers appreciate the extra space during showings. It makes rooms appear bigger.

Clean. A clean house can net $5,000 to $10,000 extra in the final transaction. Aim for five-star hotel perfection.

Maintain your privacy and safety. During open houses and showings, people can easily sneak to closets, drawers, and cabinets. Your agent should encourage other agents to accompany prospective buyers while touring your home! Protect your valuables.

If you’re interested in buying or selling your home, give me a call at (910) 395-1000 or complete the form below.


How To Avoid Stress When Selling Your Home

The home selling process can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be.  Today, we want to share a few tips to help you not only survive it, but thrive during it!

  • Start packing up things you don't use right away. As soon as you know you're selling, you need to start collecting things that you don't use very often and getting them ready for the road.
  • Next, you need to completely declutter your home. Find stuff you no longer want or need and get it out of the house! You might be surprised by how much stuff you own that no longer serves any purpose in your life! 
  • Make sure you clean your home as best you can before and during the selling process. You want it to look like a five-star hotel. We've seen squeaky-clean homes in Wilmington go for as much as $5,000-$10,000 more!

  • Maintain your privacy and security when selling. If you want to avoid some frustrating situations, make sure you work with an agent with high standards for showing the home and avoid leaving highly valuable items lying around.
  • Finally, to make the selling process a breeze, get the kids involved!  Make the moving process fun for the whole family by encouraging the kids to help in the moving effort.

We want the process to be as easy as possible for you. Give us a call if you need our assistance. We would love to help you!


Leave No Money On The Table

I'm not going to lie. Putting your Wilmington home for sale and getting top dollar for it, will take some work. The good news is that it's worth it, because you can sell your home for more money by using these six tips.

  • Curb appeal matters. You have to entice the buyers with a nice exterior for them to want to know more about the interior. Plant flowers, mow the lawn, repaint your front door, clean your windows, etc
  • Declutter and depersonalize your home. Get rid of personal belongings such as old photos or artwork, and make sure the buyer isn't distracted by other things like clutter on your counter tops. Show off your home and not your belongings. Rent a portable storage unit if you need to - you're moving anyway. Depersonalize the home as well. You don't want a buyer to feel as if they're inside of someone else's home. You want them to feel like they're walking through their own home, so don't clutter the place with your belongings. Not many buyers want to see that giant moose head on your wall. Remove any excess decor that makes your home feel smaller.
  • Fix things and freshen up your home. Repaint rooms in a neutral color, such as earth tones. Also, fix all of the obvious things around your home such as a squeaky door or a leaky faucet. If you notice it, the buyer definitely will, too.
  • Don't get too emotionally involved.  That is when you can make mistakes. Remember that the home really isn't yours anymore when you're trying to sell it.
  • Don't get greedy.  Buyers aren't fooled by high prices, and they simply won't respond to high prices. Your home will sit on the market and you'll end up with less money than if you had priced your home right to begin with.  ...

Secrets To A Successful Home Sale

If you're selling, you need to do everything in your power to make your home stand out. To help you, we want to share a few tips to make buyers fall in love with your home. Here are some things to keep in mind before you place your home on the market:

  • The first impression is everything. The first impression doesn't happen when the buyer opens the front door - it's what happens when the buyer first sees a photo of your home online and when they come to the front door. Park your car on the street and come to your home the way a buyer would. Does your front porch look neat and clean? Is the door freshly painted and finished? Do you have potted plants and other welcoming features? These little things will make a huge difference in the end.

  • Declutter the interior of the home. The way that you currently live in your house is not the way you want to show it. Give your home a deep clean and make it look fantastic before potential buyers arrive.

  • Keep the home looking light and bright. If you open up the front door, even after doing steps one and two, if your home looks dark and unwelcoming, you're not going to have much luck winning a potential buyer over. Turn on every light in your home and open every possible window to make your home breath and feel like a place someone would want to live.

There are quite a few details in these three steps, but if you are able to do all these things before putting your home on the market, you will have greatly increased your chances of having a successful home sale. If you have any questions about this topic, or if you would like real estate assistance of any kind, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We would love to hear from you!


How Absorption Rates Effect You

Today, we're going to talk about absorption rates and real estate. What is the absorption rate, and why is it important?

Absorption is simply the number of months inventory on the market right now, and how long it will take to sell those particular properties if no new homes come on the market.

Nowadays, sellers are inundated with a lot of real estate data from around the nation. In the Wilmington area, the median price of homes for sale is up dramatically from 2010. However, it's important to dig a little deeper and look at the data surrounding your neighborhood in order to really know what's going on.

That's where the absorption rate comes in. We look at recent sales, homes currently under contract as well as Wilmington properties that have failed to sell. We look at data over a two-year time period because the past helps us project what will happen in the future.  Lastly, we look at actualy real-time showing reports to see what agents are actually showing active buyers right now, afterall this is the tip of the spear of what's really going on in the market.  We can see exactly which way your neighborhood is trending. Once we've examined everything, we will come up with a price for your listing.


Emotional vs Logical House Decisions

I’m often reminded of the enormous significance emotion plays in the process of buying and selling homes in the Wilmington area.  In fact, real estate marketing, sales and activity places constant emphasis on igniting an emotional response in purchasers, while at the same time keeping sellers grounded in logic and reality.  Warmth, smell, color, presentation, street-appeal are just some of the emotional elements that are involved with the sales process.

We’re taught our words, videos and photographs should “sell the sizzle, not the sausage”, and I’m always a fan of highlighting benefits for consumers rather than listing off a bullet points of "features" that are common to most any house.

Sure, that property may have four bedrooms and two bathrooms, but nowadays most properties do, so encouraging a hot-button response takes more than a brief set of bullet points.  

I’ve also found an emotional purchase doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but the purchaser – and sometimes it really doesn’t seem to make sense to anyone else!  I've seen families buy things that are completely different to what they "said they wanted", actually this happens more times than not.

Logic, unfortunately, gets thrown out the window with buyers and sellers and the personal "need to win" competitive emotion keeps people from buying or selling every single day.  So many times I want to say to a buyer or seller "do you want to buy/sell your home... or learn a lesson?"

So it’s fair to say emotion will always play a part in the world of real estate, but the other big player that REALTORS and/or other advocates...

Caught Between Two People

Many of us live our lives caught between two people – the YOU that everyone sees and the YOU who makes an appearance only when no one else is looking. The opposite of integrity isn’t a person without character, but someone who is double-minded in what they say and do.

Our compartmentalized lives lead to fragmented souls. The constant battling back and forth with our body double not only does damage to our heart, it lessens the impact we can have on those around us. The strongest currency we possess to influence others is our integrity.

Trust is the bond that holds our relationships together. We all want integrity, but it requires us to fight for it, not just for ourselves, but for those we care about the most. We invite you to join us for #DoubleSeries where we’ll learn what it looks like to fight for the real you.

Addtional Notes Link

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