Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6

This is Part 4 of a 5 Part series about Why Using a Broker Benefits YOU! If you missed the previous articles, you can find Part 1 here (Money),  Part 2 here (Time),  and Part 3 here (Expertise & Ethics).

Real Estate Brokers are NOT lawyers and do not give legal advice but an important part of their job is to understand the partnership of real estate law and the many nuances for different types of real estate transactions and scenarios. Not only are Brokers required to go through a rigorous course load to obtain their license, but they are also required to take continuing education classes each year. Masha has also dedicated herself to becoming more specialized in certain areas of real estate and as such commits annually to taking courses that educate her in ways that benefit her clients. This is definitely a big advantage to you, and here’s why...

Changing Regulations

The North Carolina Real Estate Commission is our governing board. Their mission is “To protect the public interest in real estate brokerage transactions.” In order to do so, they continually make adjustments in the rules and regulations. With regular continuing education, Brokers are well suited to know the best practices to make your transaction go as smoothly as possible. Masha not only has over 26 years of education & training, but her Team Manager is also licensed and up to date on current real estate practices. With all members of her team up to date on their education, our clients are always offered the most up to date information which can help them make the best decisions for their families whether they are buying a home in Chapel Hill or Buying a home in Durham; or if you are Selling your Chapel Hill home, Selling your Durham home or Selling your Hillsborough home.


Have you seen the latest NC Offer to Contract & Purchase? It’s 13 pages long! And that’s just one document. There are also addendums and disclosures. Sorting through the sections, and not to mention the real estate jargon can be a bit overwhelming. Brokers understand these documents like the back of their hand and can make sure you understand what you are obligating yourself to when buying your home or selling your home.

Code of Ethics

“Honesty, trustworthiness, confidentiality, negotiation skills, and having the clients’ best interest” are all at the heart of the National Association of Realtors code of ethics. Interestingly enough it’s also what today’s buyers really want in a Realtor! Masha is a proud Realtor© and abides by this code at all times. At the end of the day our mission is provide our clients with their best real estate experience- and education plays a foundational role.


As with other professional fields, in the “real estate world” there are clear standards for Brokers. Brokers are used to working with each other in a way that is respectful and fair. Acting as a buffer for you, the Broker handles questions, concerns, negotiations, inspections, repairs and MUCH more and we do it in a professional and respectful way.

“To give real service, you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” ~ Douglas Adams

Next week will be the last in our series, Part 5: Emotions. Selling or buying can be an emotional process. No need for a therapist, we’ve got you covered.

A Smooth Closing for our Sellers in Falconbridge!

by AH for Masha Halpern

This gorgeous townhome in Falconbridge was just SOLD by Masha! Our team's marketing highlighted the property's features, the fantastic location and wonderful community. With widespread coverage, this home sold in ONLY 7 DAYS! Take a tour at

Call us today if you want to experience superior marketing for your home or investment property and get the most recent market statistics here.

Ready to begin your home search? Start by seeing what’s currently on the market in Chapel Hill, Durham, Carrboro, Hillsborough and Pittsboro.

Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel Hill, Durham, Carrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website at for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Masha is a certified member of The Luxury Home Marketing Institute, participates in its annual Leaders in Luxury Conference, and works with The Institute’s thousands of members worldwide to share information about current listings.

Masha is also a certified member of Keller Williams Luxury International and is Chapel Hill & Durham's EXCLUSIVE  member of Cyber Stars International – Top Realtors Using Technology – a group dedicated to taking the best and latest technological advances and applying them to real estate advertising and marketing for her clients in all price points. Masha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting

Why Working With a Real Estate Broker Benefits You - Part 3

by AH for Masha Halpern

This is Part 3 of a 5 Part series about Why Using a Broker Benefits YOU! If you missed the previous two articles, you can find Part 1 here (Money) and Part 2 here (Time).

Would you trust yourself with a major automotive repair? What about with a legal concern? Most likely you are going to want an expert to help you. That’s exactly what a Real Estate Broker is - an expert in all things related to real estate. It only makes sense that you would want an expert to help you with such a large financial & emotional investment. Here are some areas where having an expert can really make the difference…



While a yard sign might attract some interest, would it attract enough interest? Interest from a credible and financially capable buyer? Interest that could lead to the best possible offer that ultimately results in a transfer of property ownership?

Masha and her team cast a wide net with marketing materials that focus on the most desirable features of your property and positioning your home for being noticed on various online and social media sites. Every home has a story and Masha’s team goes to finish line writing authentic and engaging marketing stories that highlight your home’s experiences to engage the best buyers!  Beyond attracting buyers, Masha also makes sure they are pre-approved for a loan and very qualified ‘ closeable’ candidates for you to select from so that you end up with the best buyer for your home - the one who can close!


Staging Your Home For Sellers-
So what does Staging Your Home mean? In the everyday sense of things it means to thoughtfully arrange your furnishings and decor to make your home look its best while selling it. This can mean anything from removing or thoughtfully adding items to enhance the home and draw attention to the home’s details ( and away from your belongings ), or even renting some furniture if you don’t have enough or it doesn’t enhance the home’s marketing. Staging can make a BIG difference.

So why do it?  The simple answer is that Staging a house helps buyers imagine themselves living in it.  The stats back us up on this. The National Association of Realtors found that 49 % of buyers thought staging made the house look better and 77% of buyers said it helped them imagine themselves living in it. So, If you want to sell your home faster, staging is a clever way to do it.!

A little investment in time and dollars can really give you more in your pockets in the end.  It helps you shine in competitive markets, as homebuyers are becoming accustomed to seeing staged homes—in person, on home decorating shows, and online (click for current local homes for sale).

With insights gained after working with buyers for over 26 years, Masha knows what appeals to most buyers. She uses this knowledge to help you stage your home so that its best features come to the forefront. Masha can  offer advice on where to place things, and bring some light decor touches in to a home as well as connect her clients to professional home stagers to create that warm and welcoming environment that every buyer is wanting.

Staging is not only about the decorating; it’s also about the stage we set in our marketing!

Our professional photographer will visit your home and work with us to decide how to showcase your home’s best features- get the best angles and lighting so that we can really show it off !  With online home touring continuing to be an important step in the home buying process it is crucial to have your first and best showing online! We have made a commitment to our clients that high quality images are a must because first impressions do matter! Your first showing is online- it’s how buyers make the cut and delete homes off their ‘visit’ list and quality photos really do make a big difference.


Advice on Offers for Sellers-
So your home is on the market and you have offers! Now what?!

How do you know if an offer is the right one? With so many factors (price, earnest money, closing date, etc.), it’s sometimes hard to tell what the bottom line is and which one is best for you. If you have more than one offer( yes, we get them ) and they have different terms how can you really compare them?  That’s where Masha’s expertise comes in once again! She’ll lay out all the facts for you, speak with your about the different scenarios and create a plan making sure that you feel comfortable selecting the best choice for your family. Often times it’s not just about the sale price- sometimes it’s the ‘every day’ factors that make or break the decision of which offer wins.

Features for Buyers-
Masha has a talent for finding homes that have just the right features to meet the needs of her buyer clients! Sometimes it’s the small things that can make a difference and other times they have a unique request but it all starts with a conversation where she listens to her client’s speak of their needs, and what they would like to achieve with their next home purchase. Sometimes it’s a unique request, or a dream of their children walking to schools with friends. Perhaps a second home that offers a stunning view!

Masha’s knowledge of local neighborhoods is immense- 26 years of it! That is a bonus for her clients as she has a very intimate knowledge of the communities in which she specializes.  Knowing the homes, designs and having experience with new construction and building homes, seeing neighborhoods develop, and being a parent in the local Durham Schools and Chapel Hill Carrboro schools allows her to help customize the search for a much more efficient list of homes; one that reflects her client’s needs and best interest. Her knowledge will help you spend more time in homes that are true possibilities.


Finding the home is one of the steps- Securing it another! One key feature high on the list of desirable services a great Broker can offer is strategizing and strong negotiating skills when preparing and presenting offers. Regardless of what kind of market it is- ( buyer, balanced, seller, limited inventory or any other key term used to describe the housing market in your area ), properly researching the most relevant home sales, preparing the best offer based on all of your clients needs, presenting the offer to the other Broker, negotiating the purchase terms as well as the myriad of details that follow related to  lending, inspections, and settlement details; a strong and detailed negotiator is a must! Masha has 26 years of experience and is a certified negotiation expert in her field! There will always be new things that come up but choosing to work with Masha Halpern, who has a vast knowledge of so many parts of the home buying process really sets her clients up for success! Masha is your partner guiding you by using her knowledge, negotiations skills, and technology with her easy & responsive manner toward your successful home purchase.

Next week is Part 4, where we’ll discuss how Education, Ethics & Real Estate Law play a role as one of the major advantages a broker can give you in your home sale or purchase.

Why Working With a Real Estate Broker Benefits You - Part 2

by AH for Masha Halpern

Last week we talked about the importance of using a Broker to help you with the financial aspects of selling or purchasing a home - you’re largest investment. If you missed it, check it out here.

What can fly without wings?  That’s right, time - our most fleeting commodity! This week we’ll be discuss how having a good real estate team in your back pocket will free up your time from real estate matters that would take you away from your work, family and regular activities and more importantly how hiring Masha to help you locate and secure a home to buy, or prepare your home for sale, can save you an enormous amount of time. As we all know time often translates into money in the end too. Here’s how:

Masha will invest her time, experience,knowledge & network in you. From your first call to your initial buyer consultation meeting Masha will discuss the home buying  & selling processes, listen to your needs, goals and timeframe and ask you questions designed to help you think about your next move. She will then create a strategic plan for how to best accomplish your goals that will be based on her experience, knowledge of the market, and use her networks of allied resources to accomplish them with you.

Searching Power

We’ve all been there - we start a simple search for something on the internet and then without noticing it we look up and an hour or two have flown by. One search led to a link, which led to another link, and so on. There’s so much to sift through it’s getting harder to know what’s relevant to your needs.


Brokers have not only the power to do the searching for you, but they are more efficient & effective with the searching!  Brokers have many strong connections via Multiple List services, networking groups with other realtors, and their own clients. They also know how to narrow down a search and spend the time to weed out any homes that don’t fit your needs. At the same time, Masha can provide references for some of the areas best lending,inspection,insurance and legal resources so that you can get a head start on positioning yourself as the best home buyer and beat out competitors who may be wanting to buy the house you love! A big time saver and  a huge advantage for Masha’s buyer clients offer to position them to a home seller as “The Most Qualified” buyer for their home.

If you are getting ready to sell your home Timing is very important. Hiring a Realtor that offers a concierge support team, like Masha’s Boutique Real Estate Group ,can often be the difference between selling your home, selling your home swiftly and at THE best market price avoiding excessive spending on unnecessary updates and large price reductions, or not selling your home at all. Being able to access the timing of when to sell your home, and manage potential updates and maintenance that may be needed before going on the market and during the Due Diligence period is critical to time saving. How many times have we seen homes on the market that have outdated appliances or need new paint and wondered by they have not sold? Having a Realtor that brings decades of knowledge on trends and what to investment to maximize both your dollar and market value with a network of trusted A+ allied resources is so important.


Access to Houses

On both the selling and buying side, access to homes is very important. For buyers this means the ability to view homes easily and getting in the door as quickly as possible. The housing market is limited and you will want a Realtor who is constantly watching both the MLS , other Real Estate websites, and knows the private market inventory as well as the off market possibilities that can arrange showing tours for you to select your next home with confidence.  Home sellers want an organized, secure approach to managing home showing appointments and you get a secure system with Masha Halpern Boutique Real Estate Group that confirms each showing agent, limits their time to keep the inconvenience of showings to a minimum, and tracks both who enters/exits the home and provides prompt feedback.


Paperwork & Deadlines

Technology has done a lot to reduce the ‘real’ paper count in a home purchase or sale transaction but it hasn’t removed the need for documents themselves. There are many important legal documents designed to protect both buyer and seller interests and because Masha has over 26 years of experience in the local Durham, Chapel Hill-Carrboro and Hillsborough markets and emerges herself in continuing education to stay ahead of the changes, Masha has positioned herself to be the greatest asset to her clients as they navigate the process of buying and selling real estate.


At each step of the way Masha will guide you through the process you are about to go through. At the initial consultations she will review the entire process and at each step remind you of what is coming up next while staying on top of important time constraints and contractual deadlines.Taking on the project management from listing/searching to contract to close, our team manages all of the deadlines & documents for you. We’ll keep you informed of the next steps and set-up all the important appointments, such as inspections & settlement. We’ll even meet the, cleaners, stagers, inspectors, photographers, contractors, and other service providers.

Service Providers

And speaking of service providers, you can save  time on searching for recommendations. We know just who to call for all things related to homes, home sales and getting settled in your new home! You’ll need an attorney for closing, a variety of  inspectors for everything from bugs to bolts, a surveyor, an insurance agent, perhaps a contractor or two for repairs. Let us suggest our vetted, professional contractors- They are our trusted partners and they put our client’s needs first.  Each one has been personally vetted by Masha to deliver 100 % of the time. We have actual experience with them on our own homes and therefore feel comfortable referring them to our clients. If you need something painted, a plumbing repair, trying to manage a drainage issue, or want to add a bathroom to your home- anything smaller, larger or in-between, please call us for a name of someone trustworthy and responsible.

Don’t let your time fly away. Put the power of a knowledgeable Broker like Masha Halpern  in your corner to keep your time your own. To learn more about all of the services Masha & The Boutique Real Estate Group can provide you with, visit our Buyer and Seller pages on our website.


Next up, Part 3: Expertise


Why Working With a Real Estate Broker Benefits You - 5 Part Series

by AH for Masha Halpern


If only selling your home were as easy as putting in a yard sign; or if finding the right home were as easy as browsing zillow, touring the home, and agreeing on a price with a seller. Technology can make it seem as if the home selling or buying process is easier than ever… and in many ways there is a lot more information available to the general public than ever before but there are also many complicated issues like navigating the due diligence period and legal processes. Having a fiduciary Broker with a focus on being an expert in her field on your side helps you stay out of the pitfalls of inspections, loan processing and the ever-changing real estate laws. Working with Masha will also help you understand a shifting, buyer,  balanced, or seller driven market and how that market condition can affect your ability to buy and sell your home. There is a lot of legal paperwork to manage too, so hiring a real estate Broker is a smart first step to protect your family’s investment!

Below is the first part of a 5 part series highlighting some of the  important reasons why having a Broker representing your interests helps protect your largest investment and lower the headaches and bumps along the way!

With over 31 years experience, our team, Masha Halpern Boutique Real Estate at Keller Williams United excels in all of these categories.

Here’s an overview of the topics we’ll cover:

Part 1: Money

Part 2: Time

Part 3: Expertise & Ethics

Part 4: Education & Real Estate Law

Part 5: Emotions




Probably number one at the forefront of people’s mind is the money factor. Either you’ve invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in your home and want to get a good return on investment, or you are looking to invest in a home that will not only serve your family’s needs but make a smart financial investment.

Here are some ways that a good Broker will help you with the financial parts of this process:

Knowledge of the Market
A great agent like Masha studies the market and knows the current conditions. This will help you determine when to sell/buy and whether there are things you can do to improve the ability  for reaching your goals.


You have a number in your head, but is it realistic? Where are you getting your information from and how specific if that price opinion compared to the specific neighborhood/community  and real estate market? Generalizations can be costly to you. Pricing your home too high will not only cost you in time on the market & extend your mortgage carrying costs , but it will also leave buyers wondering why your home has not sold. The National Association of Realtors has researched and found that year after year, a home that has been on the market longer experiences more price adjustments & ultimately sells for less than if it had been priced properly from the start . Having an experienced broker like Masha pricing your home based on your home’s specific features with THE most relevant sales in your local community will keep your pricing mindset and expectations realistic and competitive to bring the most buyers for it to sell. Of course pricing your home too low will not maximize your investment but having a pricing strategy tailored to your communities specific market indicators could get you in a position to really take advantage of what your market offers. Aligning yourself with Masha will position you your home and price because she has decades of market experience and the highest level of knowledge to accomplish this and meet your needs.


Representation & Negotiating

Price seems to be the major point of negotiations in real estate transactions but there are actually many parts to the contract which can be used to your advantage and can effect the success of an offer:  Some of these terms are due diligence length, earnest money amount, inspection repair requests, settlement date, personal property as part of the sale to name a few. Knowing what is the best combination of terms for your personal needs & how to present them to the other party is  a strong talent of Masha’s and why so many of her clients hire her again and again. She’s been in the business for over 26 years and has tons of knowledge and experience to help meet your goals!

Masha will also exclusively represent you. Bound by the code of ethics from the National Association of Realtors, and also by her own mission statement, Masha will put your interests first and will have complete commitment to you and confidentiality for your situation. There’s a good chance that the Buyer/Seller on the other side of the transaction has someone representing them and aligning yourself with Masha gives you an  “edge” above others.

Next week we’ll present Part 2: Time, and consider the many ways this precious commodity can be freed up for you and your family.

Masha's Peristence Resulted in a Dream Home for Her Clients

by AH for Masha Halpern

Masha Halpern and her Team had the pleasure of representing the buyers in their purchase of this incredible home with exceptional amenities.  On a quiet street amidst beautiful landscaping, this 3 bedroom mostly one-level home is located at 10009 Fountain in the Governors Village community.


Masha's extensive knowledge of the current local real estate market & supply of homes (i.e. inventory), and our team's exhaustive efforts in locating potential homes for sale in a low inventory market led to the result our buyers wanted - their new home!

Take a tour and call us today if this sounds like the home you've always wanted - we'll help you find it!

Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel Hill, Durham, Carrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website at for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Masha is a certified member of The Luxury Home Marketing Institute, participates in its annual Leaders in Luxury Conference, and works with The Institute’s thousands of members worldwide to share information about current listings.

Masha is also a certified member of Keller Williams Luxury International and is Chapel Hill & Durham's EXCLUSIVE  member of Cyber Stars International – Top Realtors Using Technology – a group dedicated to taking the best and latest technological advances and applying them to real estate advertising and marketing for her clients in all price points. Masha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting

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Contact Information

Photo of Masha Halpern - Boutique Real Estate Real Estate
Masha Halpern - Boutique Real Estate
Keller Williams Realty
101 Cosgrove Avenue, Suite 200
Chapel Hill NC 27514
Direct 919-951-1780
Toll Free 877-478-4669
Fax: 919-928-9030

Masha Halpern of Keller Williams Realty provides real estate services in the Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham, North Carolina area including real estate services for buyer, sellers and those relocating to the surrounding areas of Apex, Bahama,Cary, Efland, Hillsborough, Holly Springs, Mebane, Raleigh, and Wake Forest. Search for homes in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Durham or the surrounding communities.  Request a market analysis for your North Carolina property.  I list and sell residential real estate, investment property, vacant land, lots for sale in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham, North Carolina area.

Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham, North Carolina real estate and homes for sale in North Carolina - Masha Halpern & The Smart Move Team