Monday, November 24, 2008

Do you have a business Plan.

Real estate is a highly competitive field. To become a top-producing agent you need to treat your real estate
practice like a business. In fact, the most successful agents run their business as if they are the CEO, and
they create a yearly business plan as a road map for their success.
Agent CEOs use their business plan to help them prioritize their business tasks and automate much of the
“busy work” required to keep their business going. This allows them to focus on what they most enjoy—
working with clients, which allows them to dramatically increase their productivity and earning potential.
Agents who plan out their year in advance, and then use Market Leader as their basic business system
have the ability to consistently stay in touch and build relationships with literally thousands of prospects
“automagically.” That means they can stay on track and maintain a steady stream of business regardless of
market conditions.
Because as surely as the real estate market has changed, the consumers have changed as well. Nearly 80%
of consumers today are searching for real estate information on the Internet, according to NAR. Yet the vast
majority of agents continue to spend their advertising dollars on traditional channels, such as newspapers and
real estate magazines. Many agents continue to do things the way they have always done them. Unfortunately,
they are still getting the same results they have always gotten. Today’s and tomorrow’s top agents are
marketing and prospecting almost exclusively online. They are spending their ad dollars where the prospects
are looking.

Charlotte-area home sales fall 31%

The number of houses sold in the Charlotte area fell 30.6 percent last month, and the average closing price declined nearly 1 percent, according to the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association.

The number of closings dropped to 1,848 last month from 2,662 in October 2007.

The average sales price dipped to $216,777 from $217,504 a year earlier.

The average number of days on the market was 134.

The statistics cover homes in Mecklenburg, Union, Iredell, Lincoln, Cabarrus, Gaston and Stanly counties.


Info from CRRA

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Curb Appeal and Marketing your Home

If you are like so many home-sellers right now, your house has been on sale a couple months, and you are starting to wonder if it is ever going to sell.

The current economy has produced a flood of homes on the market, lowered prices and not enough buyers able to make the purchase. These factors are meaning houses are on the market longer and selling for less than the original asking price—and sometimes dramatically under the home-value!

Fortunately there are things you can do to keep your asking price up and to draw in more buyers. With just a few updates, you can completely change the curb appeal of your house.

First, take a look at the property from across the street and write down all the things that look like they could detract from seeing the overall greatness of the house. Are there things that could be cleaned up, such as extra lawn ornaments, children’s toys, or even several cars in the driveway? Is the front walkway clean, in good repair and inviting? Is there a burst of color that attracts the eye to the front door like a contrasting paint color or flower box? Are leaves raked up and trees and shrubs neatly trimmed?

 Read the Full Story

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Charlotte North Carolina and Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is what will make a potential buyer want to stop and walk into your house. Doing small touch-ups and cleaning up the outside of your property will make a huge difference in bring in the buyers. Here are the top twelve things you can do to increase your curb appeal and sell that house quick!

1) Store any extra garden implements, lawn ornaments and tools away. Less is more.

Full Story

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Making Curb Appeal #1 Priority

Potential home buyers make a lot of judgments about a house before they even step inside. Curb appeal – or the view they see as they drive buy or up to the house, will determine if the buyer feels welcomed, and if they feel the house is worth further consideration.

So many houses are taken off a list before anyone even gets a chance to step inside!

Sometimes it is difficult to look at our own homes the way a potential buyer would. It is natural to become accustomed to the way things look and work, and we lose our ability to see the faults or areas of improvement. Read Article.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Active Rain Post: Today's Housing Market

Hello Folks -

Today's market isn't all doom and gloom... Charlotte is still a strong city economically and I believe we will come out of this faster and better than many - Read more about my take on the real estate market on my active rain blog.

Want more information about the Charlotte area real estate market? Check out

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

9 Steps to Home Ownership

The 9 Steps to Home Ownership

Step - 1 Make the Decision to Buy

It seems obvious, but it's good to note that the first step to buying a house is making the decision to buy. Consider the reasons you want a new house and write them down. Determine how long you want to live in the new house - does buying still make good financial sense? Can you afford a house that will meet your list of requirements? A good rule of thumb is your mortgage payment should not exceed 1/3 of your net monthly income.

Step 2 - Seek Professional Guidance

I'd like to schedule a time to meet with you to hear the reasons you want to buy a house and your plans for the future. We'll talk about neighborhoods, schools, economic factors liable to affect the market today and tomorrow, as well as how you would like your house and neighborhood to grow with you.

At this time, I will also help you get pre-qualified for a mortgage loan. Pre-qualification is a written statement from a loan officer indicating his or her opinion that you will be approved for a mortgage loan up to a certain amount. The fact that you are pre-qualified will help us when we are negotiating the deal.

Step 3 - Begin the Hunt

After our initial meeting, I'll search all my resources for houses on the market that fit your criteria. I'll preview these houses to eliminate the duds. Then, I'll schedule appointments to tour the houses at times convenient to you.

As we tour houses, I'll point out positive features and negative features. I'll ask you to tell me what you like and what you don't like. You'll probably amend your "wish list" as we tour houses, some things will become more important and others less important. With this new information, I'll refine our search criteria to narrow in on the house of your dreams.

Step 4 - Know the Market

My knowledge of the local market is an essential factor in the house search. I'll let you know when the market in a particular neighborhood is "hot" and requires immediate action or when the market is "cool" and allows for thoughtful consideration.

As we tour houses, I'll let you know when the asking price has negotiating room and when the house is "priced to sell". My unique market knowledge will keep you a step ahead of the "house hunting competition".

In a "seller's market". It is not unusual to see multiple offers on a property, full-price offers and even above-price offers. On the flip side, during a "buyer's market" there are more houses for sale than buyers. This gives us more negotiating room as houses are taking longer to sell.

Step 5 - Find Your Dream House

I'm confident we'll find your dream house. When we do, I'll put together the purchase offer tailored for your needs including appropriate contingencies (such as obtaining financing, favorable home inspection, clear title, etc.).

The offer is normally presented with "earnest money". This is a cash deposit made to a home seller to secure an offer to buy the property. The amount is applied to closing costs. If the seller accepts the offer, generally closing is held 30 to 60 days from the offer date (generally dependent on the turn around time of your mortgage financing).

Step 6 - Negotiate the Deal

It is not uncommon to receive a counter offer when the initial purchase offer is submitted. Don't let this discourage you. We will discuss the counter offer and decide whether or not to accept the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or reject the counter offer and move on.

Market conditions will play a role in how aggressively we negotiate the deal. We will also work within your limits. Emotions can lead to buyer's remorse. It is better to set limits prior to negotiating an offer and stick to these limits.

Step 7 - Get a Loan

During the closing period, you will be working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. Since you pre-qualified for the loan before starting your home search, you will be that much closer to the end. I'll gather the necessary property information your lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 - Close the Deal

You will receive a "Good Faith Estimate" of closing costs at the time the loan application is submitted to the lender. The estimate is based on the loan officer's past experience and may not include all the closing costs. I will be glad to review the "Good Faith Estimate," answering questions and highlighting missing costs and estimates I believe to be low.

Step 9 - Move In

Congratulations! It's time to move into your new house and make it your home. Enjoy this exciting time. I'll give you a checklist to help you remember the numerous details that will make your moving day a pleasure.

Monday, November 10, 2008

First Time Home Buyers Entering the Market

Daily Real Estate News  November 10, 2008 

More First-Time Buyers Entering the Market
The 2008 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
reveals that the number of first-time buyers have risen as a percentage of the market share and they plan to own their homes longer than buyers in the past.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said a higher share of first-time buyers makes perfect sense, and it’s a trend he expects to grow.
“First-time buyers are much more flexible in entering the market because they aren’t concerned about selling an existing home,” he said. “Given low home prices, plentiful supply, and affordable interest rates, it’s been an optimal time for entry-level buyers with a long-term view.
“Considering the temporary first-time buyer tax credit and improvements to the FHA loan program, we expect stronger entry-level activity as the flow of credit improves – that, in turn, should free more existing owners to make a trade in 2009.”
The number of first-time buyers rose to 41 percent from 39 percent of transactions in last year’s survey and 36 percent in 2006. “Although modest, this is a meaningful gain for the 12-month period ending at the close of June, and more recent independent data show a stronger uptrend in first-time buyers who are helping to reduce excess inventory,” Yun said.
According to the NAR study, the median age of first-time buyers was 30, down from 31 in 2007, and the median income was $60,600. The typical first-time buyer purchased a home costing $165,000 and plans to stay in that home for 10 years, up from seven years in 2007.
The median down payment by first-time buyers was 4 percent, up from 2 percent in 2007; the number purchasing with no money down fell from 45 percent in 2007 to 34 percent in the current survey.
“The study covers transactions through the middle of 2008, so we can assume the down payment numbers have shifted recently because credit tightened and no-down payment loans all but disappeared around the close of the survey,” Yun explained.
Of first-time buyers who made a down payment, 69 percent used savings and 26 percent received a gift from a friend or relative, typically from their parents. Another 7 percent received a loan from a relative or friend, while 16 percent tapped into a 401(k) fund, stocks or bonds. Ninety-two percent chose a fixed-rate mortgage.
The percentage of buyers who purchased a home in foreclosure jumped to 6 percent of transactions in the 2008 survey from 1 percent in 2007. Another 38 percent of buyers considered purchasing of a home in foreclosure but did not, primarily because they could not find the right home.
Commuting costs factored greatly in neighborhood selection, with 41 percent of buyers saying they were very important and another 39 percent saying transportation costs were somewhat important.
“Since fuel costs began rising in the latter part of the survey period, it’s reasonable to assume they’ve become even more important to home buyers since,” Yun said. “We’ve heard from our members that commuting costs are playing a bigger role in buyers’ decisions.”
Environmentally friendly features also were important, cited by 90 percent of buyers. Heating and cooling costs were of primary importance, followed by energy efficient appliances and energy efficient lighting.
The study found that 81 percent of sellers used full-service brokerage, in which real estate agents provide a range of services that include managing most of the process of selling a home from listing to closing.
Nine percent chose limited services, which may include discount brokerage, and 9 percent used minimal service, such as simply listing a property on a multiple listing service. All of these types of services are provided by REALTORS® as well as non-member agents and brokers. The results are identical to findings in 2007 and comparable to findings in 2006.
Primarily, sellers want agents to price their home competitively, market the property, find a buyer and sell within a specific timeframe. Home buyers are consistent in their expectations of real estate agents.
Buyers thought the most important agent services are helping find the right house, and negotiating sales terms and price. Because agents often are chosen based on a referral or were used in a previous transaction, two-thirds of buyers contacted only one real estate sales associates in the search process.
Sixty-one percent of buyers are married couples, 20 percent are single women, 10 percent single men, 7 percent unmarried couples and 2 percent other. Twenty-six percent are nonwhite, 9 percent were born outside of the United States, and 4 percent primarily speak a language other than English.
Seventy-eight percent of all respondents purchased a detached single-family home, 9 percent a condo, 8 percent a townhouse or rowhouse, and 5 percent some other kind of housing.
Fifty-five percent of all homes purchased were in a suburb or subdivision, 17 percent were in an urban area, 16 percent in a small town, 10 percent in a rural area, and 2 percent in a resort or recreation area. The median distance from the previous residence was 12 miles.
The biggest factors influencing neighborhood choice varied by household type, but overall they were quality of the neighborhood, cited by 62 percent of respondents; convenience to jobs, 51 percent; overall affordability of homes, 41 percent; and convenience to family and friends, 38 percent.
Other factors valued highly by consumers include quality of the school district, 27 percent; convenience to shopping, 27 percent; and neighborhood design, 24 percent.
—REATLOR Magazine Online

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Empty Nesters, First time home buyers looking for a townhome???

 Click here for your new home

1160 Drummond- Front View

This 2 bedroom 2.5 bath townhome has it all.

Call today for mortgage info and a personal view of this home.

Rich Ferretti

Charlotte NC Real Estate Homes


Charlotte NC Home Search is Now Available

Considering a move to Charlotte NC?

Well here is the number one site to view and check out all the latest homes available.

Also, contact me for my latest BEST BUY LIST.

Search for Property Now

Friday, November 7, 2008

Twitter comes to Real Estate

I was finally convinced to start using Twitter. Good Idea? Not sure yet?

Active Rain is still my blog of choice. When it comes to solid Charlotte NC real estate advise, Active Rain wins. What are your thoughts?

The Charlotte NC Relocation market is slowing making a turn for the good. People still want to move South and Charlotte NC continues to grow.

Contact me for my list of Great Buy Homes.

Co-Ownership Gets Popular as Lending Tightens

Co-Ownership Gets Popular as Lending Tightens

Real estate co-ownership arrangements are becoming increasingly popular, especially in cities where prices—even after the real estate meltdown—remain out of reach for many buyers.

Lending guidelines have tightened and it's twice as hard to qualify because of the housing market and sub-prime situation. People just don't qualify like they used to. But if they get some friends and put money together, they can afford that 20 percent down that you may need to purchase if your credit or work history are not excellent.

While financing may be easier, these arrangements have the capacity to fail. It's recommended that people who are considering a joint purchase hire a lawyer to draw up a co-ownership agreement, including a plan to get out of the arrangement.

Here are some other tips for co-buyers:

  • Before you begin looking for property, decide the geographic and financial ranges for the search.

  • Understand potential co-buyers’ finances; lenders will look hard at the finances of all partners in the deal.

  • If the property is a condo, understand the rules regarding rentals, just in case one partner needs to move out.

  • Put everything in writing, particularly the escape plan.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Southern Christmas Show

The region’s most exciting holiday tradition celebrates its 41st anniversary with “Windows of Christmas.” Come discover everything for the holidays, from spectacular designer displays to the most unusual and creative gifts.

Location: The Park Date:11/13/2008 - 11/23/2008

Schedule:Daily Time:Sundays, Monday and Tuesday, 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.; All Other Days, 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Cost:Adults: $9 at door; $8 advance and online; Ages 6-12: $3; Children under 6 free (excluding groups). Groups: $7.50 each for groups of 20 or more (advance only)

Address:2500 E. Independence Blvd., Charlotte

Monday, November 3, 2008

Carolina Trivia


Carolina Trivia

The first one to respond by email (only) will win a one month subscription with Netflix (Respond to

This Months question: When it was in operation, what was the steepest grade on a mainline track in the United States?

Congratulations to Chris Roberts for answering last month’s trivia question: What NC company founded in 1937... now operates in 13 countries... has sold over a 2 billion of their product?

Answer: Krispy Kreme

Charlotte Housing Report

October Housing Report

Charlotte Housing Report

Each month Southern Winds Realty participates in a survey of the market. That information is then aggregated and broken down by some of the top markets nationwide. Click the link to see the entire report and view other markets.

Charlotte, NC – Uncertain Employment Picture Leads to Drop in Buyer Traffic (15,185 single-family permits in 2007, 7th largest market in the country) Employment fears weaken buyer confidence further. Buyer traffic fell in October as our buyer traffic index slipped to 12 from 14 in September (any reading below 50 suggests traffic below agents’ expectations). Agents said the recent turbulence in the financial markets hit home on several fronts, as the broader economic impacts were amplified by the recent merger announcements from both of the area’s prominent financial institutions, which unfortunately may result in many job losses.

Agents commented that the uncertainty surrounding potential job losses is motivating sellers to sell, but buyers want to wait until the dust settles before deciding whether or not to buy. Recent comments we’ve heard from homebuilders are consistent with this, as several have noted a sharp drop-off in buyertraffic in Charlotte.

Motivated sellers lead pricing lower, but inventory increases also. Home prices fell further in October, as our price index was unchanged at 18 from 17 in September (readings below 50 indicate lower home prices over the past 30 days). Agents said the weakening economy is motivating sellers to reduce pricing, but these efforts appeared to be in vain over the past month as there were few buyers and higher listings. Our home listings index fell to 22 in October from 32 in September, with readings below 50 indicating sequentially higher inventory levels. In addition, our time to sell index dropped to 8 inOctober from 12 in September, indicating a longer time needed to sell a home (readings below 50). Higher inventory and a longer time to sell suggest further price declines are ahead.

Complimentary Charlotte DVD


About The Author

His testimonials speak volumes about his work ethic.

Rich Ferretti is a Charlotte NC Residential Real Estate Professional that can assist you with the purchase and/or sale of real estate in Charlotte, North Carolina and surrounding areas, from bank owned homes to new construction to waterfront property, and everything in between.

· Rich is a Relocation Specialist that has created a network of real estate professionals throughout the country in an effort to assist people relocating to Charlotte NC.

· Rich Ferretti is a true professional and expert in the field of relocation and can serve many purposes beyond a simple home search.

· In addition to being a Relocation Specialist, Rich also holds the designations of Broker, Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), and e-PRO. Rich is also licensed in North Carolina, South Carolina and New Jersey.

If you are considering Homes for Sale in Charlotte NC, Rich can help!

Call or email today for your complimentary Charlotte DVD, quantities are limited.

Please visit for your Real Estate Needs.

Rich Ferretti – Broker/Realtor - 704-564-0807 –


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Enjoy some time with the kids

Deals & Bargains...

Discount Coupon

Southern Winds Realty Exclusive

Take the kids and enjoy an afternoon at Monkey Joe's "Where kids have a blast and moms come to relax"

Four locations to serve you located in Pineville, Matthews, University and Lake Norman. Visit their web site

Tell them Rich from Southern Winds sent you!

Have Fun

Your Money Goes Further in Charlotte NC

Money goes further some places in the United States than it does in others.

Housing, in particular, has remained most affordable in the South and the Midwest. That’s because of less stringent building, an abundance of land and growing populations in the South, says Daniel McCue, a research analyst at Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

To determine the cities that offer the best quality of life for the least amount of money, Forbes magazine calculated the ratios between a city’s median home price and its median household income. It also factored in projected job growth. And it compared median income to Moody’s’s cost of living index.

Here are the 10 cities that it found to offer the best value, and the cities that it believes offers the worst value.

Cities Where Residents Get the Most for Their Money

  1. Austin, Texas
  2. San Antonio, Texas
  3. Indianapolis, Ind.
  4. Houston, Texas
  5. Charlotte, N.C.
  6. Columbus, Ohio
  7. Dallas
  8. Minneapolis/St. Paul
  9. Denver
  10. Portland, Ore.

Cities Where Residents Get the Least for Their Money

  1. Los Angeles
  2. Providence, R.I.
  3. New Orleans
  4. Philadelphia
  5. Cleveland
  6. New York
  7. Milwaukee, Wisc.
  8. St. Louis, Mo.
  9. Washington, D.C.
  10. Sacramento, Calif.

Source: Forbes, Abha Bhattarai (10/10/2008)

Don't Forget To Vote

November Events...

Make your voice heard on November 4th...

Tuesday November 4th...Get Out and Vote Carolina!

Make you voice count and vote on November 4th (Tuesday) To find your polling location... click here

Thanks for voting

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