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Real Estate Tips To Sell Your Home

by Masha Halpern

Here are some tips for sellers trying to sell their home:

1) The biggest change in how homes are sold now is the internet. Buyers look at homes online before they visit a home. Good photos capture a buyers interest. Previewing a home on the internet is actually considered a first showing. Therefore, it's really important to have good online pictures for buyers to view.

2) According to Zillow, homes with a manicured lawn and a well maintained fence tend to attract homebuyers.

3) Some sellers want to list their house at a price based on what they paid for it. But if a homeowner wants to sell their home, it should be based on current market conditions, location of the home, neighborhood, condition of the home, and comparables. If possible, "comps" should be homes that have sold within the last 60 days. If there is a lot of competition, or the area you live in doesn't have a lot of turnover, or if your home needs a lot of improvements, you may need to price below your competition.

4) According to Trulia, selling your home as a "for sale by owner" is generally a bad idea. Only an agent can ensure your home has the maximum exposure to the widest range of potential buyers as quickly as possible." According to the National Association of Realtors 2011 Profile of home buyers and sellers, "the typical FSBO homes sold for $150,000 in 2011 compared to $215,000 among agent-assisted home sales."

5) If your home is not selling, research why. A spokesperson from S&P advises, "find out what the major flaws were that pushed buyers away." If you can make a specific change to your home, that can mean the difference between a sale and a home that sits on the market for months. If you cannot make a change (too close to a main road, too noisy), consider reducing your selling price.

6) Last but not least, find the best broker. Ask for recommendations from friends, find out how long they have worked in the area (Masha Halpern-20 years!) and what their track record is for selling homes.

According to, typically a well-maintained home that is priced right will sell. Make sure you make obvious repairs, (i.e. water stains, leaks, doors that creak and windows that do not shut). In a slow real estate market, buyers have less money for renovations, they want homes that are move-in ready. New carpets, new floors and a fresh coat of paint may be the difference between selling your home or not.





New Twist to the Housing Crisis – Cheaper to Own Than to Rent

by Masha Halpern

It seems like every day there is a new twist to the housing crisis and mortgage meltdown – from ‘robo-signing’ to the latest stats that rising rents and falling property values are changing the cost of home ownership in some of the nation’s top markets.

Many are asking is it really cheaper to own now than rent? The surge in foreclosures has forced high numbers of homeowners into the rental market, which means demand is up and outpacing the availability of affordable rental units. Home values and prices continue to tumble, making the cost of ownership a better financial proposition than leasing. Is this a natural correction that’s going to boost homeownership and lower inventories? Not so fast.

With so many Americans out of work and on credit tightropes, you aren’t going to see a surge in mortgage applications any time soon. Mortgage credit and other qualifications are still strict and unlikely to loosen up in the near future. Instead, we may see a real housing crisis – one in which families can’t afford to rent or buy standard housing. tells us that the top five markets in which to buy are Arlington, TX, Fresno, CA, Miami, FL, and Mesa and Phoenix, AZ.

“Choosing to buy a home or continue to rent is a highly personal financial and life decision that many people are grappling with right now,” said Pete Flint, CEO and co-founder of Trulia. ”In the wake of the foreclosure crisis and ongoing struggles in the industry, we created the Rent vs. Buy Index to provide a bit more context about current marketplace conditions to help prospective buyers make the right decisions for their own personal situations.”

High foreclosure rates, falling home prices and widespread unemployment have all contributed to the trend.

















































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Contact Information

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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