lake norman real estate, The Real Estate Process, Home Buying and Selling Tips

2 Marketing Tools that will set your Lake Norman home apart

Pool and rear view of the listing in The Point

I recently listed this beautiful home in The Point and had the good fortune of getting a full-price offer within 24 hours of it hitting the market.  At a price point that’s average days on the market is 212 days and the average listing- to-selling price is 95% for recent comparable sales I would say we did very well!  So was this pure luck? Perhaps, but I do believe that my seller’s and my efforts getting the property ready, staging and then going all out on the marketing didn’t hurt!

In this specific case we decided the gorgeous pool and outdoor fireplace/grill and bar were huge attributes given that these amenities didn’t exist in our competition. So, besides having the house and garden groomed to perfection I hired a wonderful stager to make everything inside “popped” while I focused on the pool area and the front door.  My inspiration was a recent Frontgate catalog and other photos on such online sites as But all of this effort might have ended up under the radar of buyers if we hadn’t used two key marketing tools that are rather new to the Lake Norman area:

  • Aerial/Drone Photography and Professional Video
  • Matterport 3-D and 360 Virtual Tour

Of course, both of these required the expertise of a very talented photographer I was able to hire for the project.  He did all of the still photos, the drone aerial photos, created the video and took the Matterport 3-D photos.  The end result was pretty darn awesome!

Here is the video:

Below is the Matterport 3-D tour.  If you are not experienced viewing this type of marketing, I find it easiest to click on one of the photos and then use your up, down, right and left arrows to either take a good look of a room by doing a 360 degree scan or literally walk through the house from room to room and stop and turn whenever you want:

Lake Norman 3-D home tour

What is the take away? I can’t emphasize enough the importance of staging a home and then using the best marketing tools available that are appropriate for your property.  It is worth every penny!

lake norman real estate, The Real Estate Process, Home Buying and Selling Tips

What Lake Norman Buyers & Sellers Should Know About Mineral, Oil & Gas Rights

North Carolina's new Mineral Rights Disclosure image


Effective January 1st of this year, The State of North Carolina added a new disclosure form that must be signed by both parties of a residential property transaction as part of the initial purchase contract. The State of North Carolina Mineral and Oil and Gas Rights Mandatory Disclosure Statement   requires all sellers of  new or existing homes in North Carolina to disclose whether the mineral, oil and gas rights for the property are owned by someone other than the seller.

“The purpose of this new law is to protect the buyer. Property owners sometimes lease or sell the subsurface mineral rights on their property to a third party or company. This means that if sellers have “severed” their mineral rights, the third party or company could potentially have the perpetual right to drill, mine, explore and remove any of the subsurface mineral resources on or from the property. These mineral or materials could be extracted directly from the surface of the property or from a nearby location – even if the property is sold to a new owner.”

Okay, so why here and why now?  Continue reading

The Real Estate Process, Home Buying and Selling Tips

Lake Norman Home Inspections: Why the Challenges Never Change

Home inspections in Lake Norman

Home Buyer: “But when I sold my house I did ALL of the repairs.”

Buyer’s Agent: “My buyers want ALL of the items on the inspection report repaired because that is how I have always handled home inspections and I want to get the most for my client whether this is reasonable or not.”

Professional Home Inspector:“As a home inspector I have more and more liability so not only must I note every little thing I see, I also have to spell out the worst case scenario.  What if that tiny speck of fungus is mold?  Guilty until proven otherwise by the expert in each field. I can only point things out but I can’t tell you what’s really wrong because I am not an expert…call a licensed contractor.”

Listing Agent: “My sellers have taken good care of their home and this is an “as is” sale per the contract but I do need to urge my sellers to make the repairs because otherwise we may loose the buyer”.


I have been a full time Realtor since 1991 and for the most part these 4 perspectives really haven’t changed.  The result is a perpetuation of sometimes grueling negotiations, added stress for all parties and a solution that will require a complete and simultaneous mindset change by all 4 roles in the real estate sales process throughout the entire country. Yikes! Continue reading

The Real Estate Process, Home Buying and Selling Tips

The Due Diligence Fee: Non-Refundable and Very Unpopular with Lake Norman Home Buyers

Due Diligence Fee and Period for buying a home


In January of 2011 the North Carolina Association of Realtor’s completely redesigned the Offer to Purchase forms to be used when buying and selling single family homes in our state.  One of the hardest things to explain or justify to out-of-state buyers particularly is the non-refundable “Due Diligence Fee”.

So what is the Due Diligence Fee?  In short, it is a non-refundable fee that is given to the seller at the “effective” date of the purchase contract which is the day the agreement is signed and delivered back to the buyers or buyers’ agent.  If paying by check, the buyer makes the check payable directly to the seller.  It does not pass go nor go to an escrow account. The seller keeps it no matter what.  The good news is that this fee is negotiable and does get applied to the total purchase price. Continue reading

The Real Estate Process, Home Buying and Selling Tips

Why a “Dated” Home in Lake Norman?

Home in Lake Norman's Luxury Community The Peninsula

One of the adjustments I had to make when I moved to Lake Norman in 2005 from Pasadena CA was the transition from selling historic, Pre-World War II homes to mostly new or newer construction.  We didn’t even have Great Rooms and the Master Bedrooms were always upstairs!  Synthetic stucco, what was that? Continue reading

lake norman real estate, The Real Estate Process, Home Buying and Selling Tips

The Reality of Lowball Offers in Lake Norman Real Estate

I got a call yesterday from a potential buyer for one of my listings.  He told me he would like me to present an all cash offer of $350,000 for a property I just listed at $429,000.  With a little prodding I was able to find out that he hadn’t seen the home and didn’t know the neighborhood.  I tried to explain a bit about the price and comps and his response was “it is a terrible real estate market and that’s all I need to know”.  REALLY?

Needless to say, my client’s counter to this buyer was not accepted.

This is just one example of how not to be successful in our current Lake Norman housing market. While it is quite common for investors and low-ballers to make these kind of offers when a new listing comes on the market, I have to wonder what these buyers are thinking?  Or, are they thinking at all?  Even banks get disgusted with these types of buyers.  Here is a great example: Continue reading

The Real Estate Process, Home Buying and Selling Tips

Lake Norman Homeowners, Do you need a permit to replace your water heater?


As the new year approaches, Lake Norman homeowners  will most likely be creating lists of things to do in 2012 that will include repairs or upgrades of our homes and gardens.  Many times we don’t stop to consider if a permit is needed, especially for minor repairs.

So, if you live in the Lake Norman area, or the entire state of North Carolina, you might be interested to know that the North Carolina General Assembly passed house bill HP-1409  which exempts from building permitting the replacement of a water heater. Here are a few of the stipulations:

  • Electrical, Plumbing or Mechanical work must be performed by a person licensed under G.S 87-43 or G.S. 87-21
  • The replacement of a water heater is the same capacity, location and energy source

Continue reading