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Old 08-15-2006, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Greensboro
34 posts, read 101,915 times
Reputation: 22

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Downtown is 27401.

Elm St. is the main drag. It's bisected by Friendly Ave. South of Friendly is where most of the housing action is.

There are new condos looking down on Market St just east of the S. Elm St. intersection.

The Southside neighborhood, 1 block east of South Elm and environs--resales only, I think. Some are work/residences. Some are attached row houses--city blocks, really cool, with garages in back, some have tiny yards. Southside also includes an entire neo-traditional neighborhood with renovated single family homes and brand new ones designed to look older. Some are two-family. All have front porches.

Southside will also have new rental apartments soon. Being built by local real estate tycoon Milton Kern and another developer.

'City Centre' coming soon--the old Wachovia bldg is being made into condos. A year to 18 mos out.

There's a bunch of other stuff. You need to come look for yourself.

I sound like an ad for downtown--but I just love seeing it reborn.

There is one condo complex I don't like: Right next to the railroad tracks on South Elm. It looks poorly built, there's no sheltered parking, and the units are not moving.
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Old 08-15-2006, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Greensboro
34 posts, read 101,915 times
Reputation: 22
Agree with JAS, rent for at least 6 months to get flavor of place. Mistakes are costly.

Also, I believe in waylaying neighbors when looking at a house. Some if not all will be upfront about how long the house is on the market. Visit the places you like at times when people are out in their yards working, without your agent. They tell you stuff like, 'oh yeah, a stream used to run right through that yard but the backfilled before they built the house.

When placing an offer, best not to trust any agent's input, not even a 'buyer's agent'--trust only your instincts and do as much research as possible. Some agents will give you 'comparables' that if you look at closely are in no way comparable. Out-of-towner me paid $50,000 more than a neighbor who bought the exact same house model 6 months before, and it was a slow market! Why did we pay it? Because we could, and the agent knew we could, so we did.

Yeah, we've been burned. Live and learn.
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Old 08-15-2006, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Greensboro
34 posts, read 101,915 times
Reputation: 22
Real estate agents are indispensable. A very good friend of mine is a realtor and I'd trust her with my life. BUT there are a bejillion real estate agents here--Many more than the market can accomodate. Thus many are inexperienced part-timers, perhaps downsized execs from NC's dying old-time manuf economy--my spouse can relate.

Very important to find an agent with a really solid track record of listings and sales esp. in the areas of town you're interested in.
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Old 08-15-2006, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Greensboro
34 posts, read 101,915 times
Reputation: 22
Thx Cassie :-) I'm happy now.
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Old 08-15-2006, 07:55 PM
 
Location: State of Bliss :-)
463 posts, read 1,519,428 times
Reputation: 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by exjerseyite
Thx Cassie :-) I'm happy now.
You are most welcome and I am very happy that you are happy now. Thanks for all your solid advice, too.

Cassie

Last edited by Cassie; 08-15-2006 at 08:04 PM..
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:13 PM
SMW
 
20 posts, read 62,998 times
Reputation: 20
exjerseyite - thanks for the info. You guys really are a plethera of good information. Some years back I used to read articles about a new trend of "flat fee buyer agents" or something like that. Rather than getting a commission based on the sale price of a house, you paid them something like $250-$350 in a flat fee.

The premise for their need was that they truly had the buyer's best interest at heart without any financial gain tied to what you paid for a house, and therefore helped negotiate the lowest possible price. They were never listing for anyone, only buyer's reps. They then did what a normal buyer's agent would do, although I think there were some differences. Have you heard of any of these types of agents where you are?
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:32 PM
 
Location: State of Bliss :-)
463 posts, read 1,519,428 times
Reputation: 164
exjerseyite wrote: Real estate agents are indispensable. A very good friend of mine is a realtor and I'd trust her with my life. BUT there are a bejillion real estate agents here--Many more than the market can accomodate. Thus many are inexperienced part-timers, perhaps downsized execs from NC's dying old-time manuf economy--my spouse can relate.
============

Maybe Blue Ridge Mountain man can help us out here. I was too busy moving/settling in to follow the legislative session this year, but it seems to me that a bill was passed that requires real estate agents to obtain their broker's license ( more study and more difficulty than passing only a real estate exam) within a certain time period. Possibly two years? I think they are granted a conditional license until then. I don't know if current agents are grandfathered in.

I know what you're talking about, though, with the bazillion not necessarily competent agents, Exjerseyite. I don't think I could have been more obsessive about doing research ( I've been trained that way) but even now I see particular agents in our area whose listed properties are waaaay overpriced ---- and consistently so. ( We're looking to buy more acreage down the road.) Would my buyer's agent have told me it was overpriced? Yeppers. In fact, she did.
========

Exjerseyite wrote:
==========

Very important to find an agent with a really solid track record of listings and sales esp. in the areas of town you're interested in.
========

Couldn't agree more!

Cassie

Last edited by Cassie; 08-15-2006 at 09:14 PM..
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Old 08-15-2006, 10:00 PM
 
Location: New York
152 posts, read 441,156 times
Reputation: 63
When we were house hunting in the Greensboro and surrounding areas, we had a "buyers agent" working with us. She worked her butt off because we could only visit on weekends and had to cram in 20-30 houses in 2 days. At the end of the day, my husband and I would drive around (thank God for the GPS) and re-look at the homes we liked and the neighborhood. On more than one occasion, we would stop to look at a new home being constructed, and the builder was there, and even though he had the house listed with an agent already, he was willing to negotiate with us and bring the price down a signifient amout of $$$. Now I know the R.E. agents on this forum aren't happy to hear about things like this, but it is happening. We ended up buying a re-sale through the buyers agent, but if it's new construction you're interested in.....the builder will work with you.
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Old 08-16-2006, 06:43 AM
JAS
 
Location: Metro Atlanta
570 posts, read 1,776,776 times
Reputation: 522
Default real estate agents

I know that we have some r/e agents on this board, but you shouldn't assume that your buyer's agent will look out for your interests 100% of the time. If you have one who is a friend, that will help you out tremendously.

The book "Freakanomics" mentioned something about realtors that I've said for a long time - it's in their best interest to get you to buy or sell a house quickly as opposed to trying to get the best price.

On the sales side, going down on the price another $10,000 will cost you about 95% of $10,000 (let's say $9,500), whereas it will only cost them 2.5% of $10k ($250) if they are splitting commissions. Therefore, it's not really in the realtor's best interest for you to turn down offers because you think you can get a better price by holding out longer. The author's research backed up this premise - it showed that realtor's who sold their OWN houses received a larger % of the asking price than houses they sold for their clients (I believe it was done in Chicago).

That's the reality of dealing with anybody who works on commission - despite what they say or how ethical they may be, their own self-interests will at times be the leading factor in negotiations.

This isn't a condemnation of realtors on my part, I'm just saying that you shouldn't leave all the decisions up to your realtor (and remember that they have an economic incentive to sell quickly, as opposed to getting the best price).
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Old 08-17-2006, 11:40 AM
 
Location: State of Bliss :-)
463 posts, read 1,519,428 times
Reputation: 164
Hey SMW,

I'm on deadlines too here for the next month and don't have time to read the forum but I did remember that you asked this question. No, I haven't heard of buyer's agents who charge a flat rate but I'd be leery. If I worked on a commission basis, I wouldn't spend my time showing houses for a considerably lower flat rate unless pickins' were mighty slim and I was mighty new and hungry

Also on a side note about Zillow, I finally found our sold property in VA a few days ago. Zillow had it listed on .038 of an acre of land. It's true that we had a second parcel that size to the right of the house, but the house itself sat on over an acre and 1/2. Zillow missed that parcel. Didn't include it all. They had the house on the wrong parcel of land. With the tax reassessments last Nov, an acre of land was valued at over $200K so Zillow was off by a lot.

Plus while they allow entry of some upgrades, renovations, etc. it wasn't enough to factor in the value of a house that had been completely renovated including plumbing and wiring, and, which, according to two different appraisers had an effective age of only 5 years old rather than the actual age. Plus Zillow comped it primarily with houses in the township that was 12 miles away. It's an entirely different market there. Glad our buyer didn't use Zillow :-)

Regards,

Cassie


Quote:
Originally Posted by SMW View Post
exjerseyite - thanks for the info. You guys really are a plethera of good information. Some years back I used to read articles about a new trend of "flat fee buyer agents" or something like that. Rather than getting a commission based on the sale price of a house, you paid them something like $250-$350 in a flat fee.

The premise for their need was that they truly had the buyer's best interest at heart without any financial gain tied to what you paid for a house, and therefore helped negotiate the lowest possible price. They were never listing for anyone, only buyer's reps. They then did what a normal buyer's agent would do, although I think there were some differences. Have you heard of any of these types of agents where you are?

Last edited by Cassie; 08-17-2006 at 12:35 PM..
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