Finding the right guide in the Charlotte real estate jungle

Things are looking up in Charlotte real estate, but don’t rush in – it’s still a jungle out there!

Here’s why: With the Charlotte, NC economy getting its second wind, and the Charlotte real estate market showing positive signs, many experts, including Donald Trump, are feeling good about the future. Time to charge ahead, and claim the home of your dreams, right?

Yes, but let’s keep it real. There are still a lot of dangers for both the first-time real estate buyer, even for more seasoned investors.

What kinds of dangers? It all comes down to things that aren’t what they appear.

Imagine this: You’re going into court for a trial that could make or break you financially. The jury’s been selected. As everyone in the courtroom murmurs in anticipation, you notice the prosecutor keeps cutting knowing glances at you. At that moment, the judge enters the courtroom, and the gallery hushes as it stands. The trial begins, you see an envelope on your desk. You have no idea where it came from. As the prosecutor begins her case, you open the envelope, and in stunned silence you unfold the note and read its message:

“Your attorney isn’t just working for you. He has also been helping the prosecution develop its case.”

Okay, maybe I’ve been reading too many Michael Connelly legal thrillers. But doesn’t this sound like a scenario you’d like to avoid? And the startling news is that it happens every day in the world of real estate.

How could it happen to a buyer who has their own agent? Especially a buyer who’s done their homework, and already knows a buyer is best served by an exclusive buyers agent. And what about a buyer who has an agreement in hand, signed by their agent, titled “Exclusive Right to Represent Buyer”? Isn’t that the same thing?

Problem is, the North Carolina Real Estate Commission does not support the definition of an exclusive buyer’s agent as established by the National Association of Realtors in 2000. The NC Real Estate Commission still allows NC real estate agents to represent themselves as exclusive buyers agents despite taking listings and representing the seller’s interest when trying to sell you houses listed with their agency.

Okay, so we’ve talked about the problem. What’s the answer? How can you be assured you’re dealing with an agency that complies with the National Association of Realtors’ definition of an exclusive buyers agent?

First, see if your prospective buyer’s agent takes listings. Then check to see if the buyer’s agent who’s claiming to be an exclusive buyers agent is a member of NAEBA, the National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents. Finally, do your homework, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

I said Charlotte real estate is still a jungle out there, and it is. But choosing the right guide as you start hunting for homes can make the difference between starting off on an adventure or a big mistake.

Affordability boosts Charlotte real estate

The Charlotte real estate market continues its positive trends.

With cautious optimism, we had noted the gradual but measurable signs of improvement in the Charlotte real estate market in our previous report. But it’s always better to have an outsider verify your judgment. Now there’s additional confirmation from Credit Suisse, the highly respocted Swiss multinational financial services company headquartered in Zurich, and a leading world authority on investment banking. The firm was founded in 1856, and currently operates in more than 50 countries, so it definitely knows what it’s doing!

It’s significant that the Credit Suisse analysis noted the improvement in Charlotte real estate, which it attributed to these factors:

Affordability – There are many great properties at tempting prices, making this a prime time for both first-time buyers and seasoned investors.

Improved traffic – The exceptional affordability of the Charlotte real estate market is luring in buyers looking to act quickly on outstanding deals.

Positive movement in home prices – Downward pressures on home prices continue, with signals of future improvements.

Reduction in inventory – Sellers have been taking homes off the market ahead of the holidays, plus, backlogs in foreclosure processing may be depressing the actual numbers.

Looking at the US market in total, mixed indicators still evidence sound reason for confidence. The Texas market has slowed, but the report shows that the Charlotte real estate market continues to “a bit more life” after layoffs in the banking industry. Charlotte NC enjoys enviable advantages, from world-class transportation facilities, to a gorgeous climate, to a well-educated work force. The news that Chiquita is transferring its world operations here in Charlotte NC confirms that optimism.

The bottom line is that in this exciting but challenging market, you need an exclusive buyers agent, one who knows the market, has experience in making sense of the trends, and who only represents buyers, eliminating the risk of dual agency.

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