Dec. 10, 2015

Christmas in the ERET

Care and Share 2015

 

Every December, our office partakes in the GGAR Care and Share. The Care and Share program allows children to have presents under their tree who may not have any otherwise. It is truly an awesome program and we love doing it! Peggy and Leslie get to go shopping for these precious children's Christmas gifts and the whole office helps with the wrapping. It's a team effort and it definitely gets us in the holiday spirit. We are little elves on a mission!

 

Posted in Office Life
Nov. 30, 2015

9 Reasons to Sell Your Home during the Holidays

Sell Your Home During the Holidays

Considering Selling Your Home during the Holidays? It could be the best time of the year!

The Holiday season is generally known as the worst time to sell a home. While sales do tend to drop off between November and January, there are actually some good reasons to sell your home during these months. Here are 9 reasons why you should consider listing your home during the Holidays.

  1. People who look for a home during the Holidays are more serious buyers. Buyers may need to move quickly if they are relocating to the area.  
  2. Serious buyers have fewer houses to choose from during the Holidays and less competition means more money for you. Lots of sellers take their homes off the market during the Holidays, assuming no one will be buying at this time. But with serious buyers still out there and a lower inventory of homes, your home has a good chance of standing out.
  3. If you wait until January, more homes go on the market meaning you’ll have to compete with more homes (which means less money for you). 
  4. Your home is already staged and decorated. Homes often look their best during the Holidays, but sellers should be careful not to overdo it on the decor and distract potential buyers. Also, avoid offending buyers by opting for general fall and winter decorations rather than items with religious themes.
  5. Buyers may have more time off to look for a home during the Holidays than they do during a working week. Also, some buyers purposely wait until their families are together for Holiday vacations to start looking for a home.
  6. Some people must buy before the end of the year for tax reasons.
  7. January is traditionally the month for employees to begin new jobs. Those relocating to the area may not be able to wait until Spring to buy, so it may be a good idea to list your home during the Holidays to capture that market.
  8. Don’t delay listing your home because you know you’ll have guests in your home during the Holidays. We can work with you to restrict showings on particular days to ensure you’re comfortable with showing your home during this time.  
  9. By selling now, you may have an opportunity to be a non-contingent buyer during the Spring, when many more houses are on the market for less money! This will allow you to sell high and buy low!

 

The Holidays are stressful enough without having to think about staging and selling your home, so if you’re not truly motivated to sell, it’s probably best to wait a few months. But if you absolutely have to sell, don’t be discouraged. An experienced agent with the Expert Real Estate Team can take the burden off of your shoulders, giving you more time to enjoy the season with your family. Give us a call today at (864) 895-9791.

Posted in Selling
Nov. 24, 2015

Thankful

With Thanksgiving in just a few days, we just wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for supporting us. As a token of our thanks, we recently offered free pies to all of our Raving Fans, but since not all of you are Raving Fans, we still wanted to let you know how thankful we are for you. We are successful because of people like you who continue to let us help you and your family and friends.

 

We are also thankful for our own family and friends. This job takes a lot of work and dedication and we would not be half the company we are today without them.

We hope you have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!!

 

 

Posted in Office Life
Nov. 16, 2015

City Spotlight - Greenville

This month we are focusing on the big dog, the mack daddy, the reason the Upstate is so famous; good ole Greenville!

Greenville

History

Greenville started out as just Cherokee hunting ground, but over time, it became home to the Great Plains Plantatio, which included a saw mill, stables, and trading post. After the Revolutionary War, the land was given to Patriot soldiers as payment for their service and in 1786, it was named "Greeneville" after General Nathaneal Greene. After several turnovers the land eventually settled under the care of Vandry McBee and he greatly encouraged Greenville growth, giving land to home the first schools, churches, mills, and other businesses. Still just a "tiny resort village", by the mid 1850's railroad lines made Greenville more conveniently accessible and it became home to one of the largest coach manufacturers in the South. Mills soon began popping up everywhere and by 1915, Greenville was the "Textile Center of the South". During the Great Depression, Greenville suffered tremendously, but by war's end it had become a powerhouse again, this time with national highways instead of just dirt roads. The 1960's brought us GSP airport and by the 1980's the Greenville we know and love today began to take shape.

What It's Known For

Greenville is the most widely known city in the Upstate (think of the Upstate as the Avengers...you know who they all are, but Iron Man is usually your first thought). The city has everything you could possibly need and want. It's urban but also rural, cultured but also simple, modern but also traditional. It sometimes seems like the center of the world; the beach and mountains are just a short drive away. Most of the Southeast's biggest cities are within driving distance but you can also hop on a plane and jet around the world! Greenville is a force to be reckoned with, and we have the privilege of living here!

What Can You Do There?

The more appropriate question is, what CAN'T you do there? Greenville is perfect for date nights and family vacations alike. Downtown Greenville is home to multiple award-winning restaurants, museums and performing arts centers, not to mention the breath-takingly beautiful Falls Park at the Reedy River. If sports are more your thing, it is also home to two minor league teams; the Boston Red Sox affiliated Greenville Drive baseball team and the Greenville Road Warriors hockey team. The Greenville Zoo receives internet fame from their live "Earth-cam" giraffe coverage. The Bon Secours Wellness Arena and Peace Center are just two of the options for live entertainment. If the city scape isn't what you're looking for, there are countless hiking trails, farms, and cozy get-away locations that are perfect for a quiet, restful weekend retreat.

Why It's a Great Place to Live

The best part about Greenville is the fact that, regardless of how big it keeps growing there is still that sense of community. It is the largest public school system in the state. Families with small children flock to the county to be a part of the education here. Based on its love of arts and culture, it's no surprise that Greenville is home to the state's top school for artistically talented high schoolers; S.C. Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities. For couples and empty nesters, there is always something new to discover that's only minutes away from your doorstep. You can easily go from small town living to big city life just by walking a few blocks!

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Greenville has everything you could possibly want and need. If you are interested in learning more about the area, call our office 864-895-9791.

Posted in Upstate Living
Nov. 3, 2015

What's New In The LCERET

We are constantly trying to up our game in the Real Estate World. Whether it's by offering FREE PIES to our Raving Fans (Raving Fans, call our office for details!!) or adding bright and shiny new faces to our team, we thrive on staying hip and current, as best we can anyways. Last week we had a very fun activity planned; a photo shoot! Every girl dreams of being a model, and we all got to be one, at least for a few minutes, even Rick and Jason joined in on the fun. As part of our new and improved marketing agenda, we needed new headshots for our team. We were able to hire the amazing Brandy Williams with Asparagus Studio to help make us look good. Our newest team members, along with old favorites, will be on showcase in just a few weeks, so be on the lookout for all of the new photos. The first client who notices the change somewhere on our site and calls in to 864-558-9054 with their name, number and email will get a free pumpkin or apple Thanksgiving pie!!!

Posted in Office Life
Oct. 26, 2015

Scary Homebuying Myths

Buying a home is an emotional roller-coaster. The excitement of looking, the nervousness of making an offer, the anticipation of moving in, and the frightening thoughts of affordability, it can take its toll. Lucky for our clients, we have an Expert team to help each stage go (scary) smooth. We found the perfect infographic to bust some of the frightening myths that surround the home-buying process, courtesy of KeepingCurrentMatters.com.

 

With Halloween fast approaching, call us now to answer all your haunting real estate questions so you can be in your new home just in time for the new year!!

Oct. 15, 2015

City Spotlight - Greer

City Spotlight

This year it seems as if our beautiful state is making national headlines daily. What starts off in a negative light (think the tragic Charleston shootings and most recently the 1000 year flood) is quickly transformed into amazing stories of heroism, faith, and compassion towards all. I don't know about you, but I am so proud to call this place home. We've decided to showcase a different town or city each month to give our clients and fans a glimpse into what makes our state sparkle!

Greer

This month we are putting the spotlight on the town our office calls home. To some, Greer may be that town between Greenville and Spartanburg, but to many, it is a history-filled hot spot that just keeps growing.

The History

The Greenville/Spartanburg county line wasn't always just an invisible line that separated counties. It was once the invisible line that separated the South Carolina Province and Indian Boundary! In 1777, the Cherokee Indians ceded the rest of the land to South Carolina. Downtown Greer came to fruition when James Manning Greer and W.T. Shumate realized the great potential of a town near the train station. In 1876, the town was known as "Greers" since the post office was located in the station and its post mark was "Greer's Depot". Some time in the early 20th century, the "S" was dropped and by 1914, Greer was home to two train lines, Southern Railroad and Piedmont & Northern. By the 1950's, Greer had grown to include a hospital and high school. Fast forward to current times, we find that the once small railroad town has grown into one of the most successful towns in the Upstate!

What is it known for?

Anyone who hasn't been living under a rock knows that Greer is home to the only BMW manufacturing plant in the U.S. The BMW Visitors Center provides tours of production and displays, the Performance Center offers Performance Driving School and Motorcycle Rider Training, and they host an annual Charity Pro-Am golf tournament where amateurs and celebrities come together to play with Tour professionals.

What can you do there?

The better question is, what can't you do in Greer?! Because it sits comfortably in the center of Upstate, residents are just a short drive away from the Blue Ridge Mountains and multiple lakes, big cities and rural towns, and historical and modern attractions. The heart of Downtown Greer, or "Greer Station" is home to amazing restaurants, beautiful parks, and one-of-a-kind retail and entertainment.

Why it's a great place to live

Greer isn't all fun and games. Because of its business driven history, thriving businesses are popping up everywhere! The benefit of living in Greer is the fact that you don't have to travel far to get everything you need, and unlike some big cities where being neighborly isn't at the top of the priority list, Greer businesses ad citizens are happy to lend a helping hand wherever it's needed.

 

For more information, visit the City of Greer website or leave a comment with your favorite Greer story!

Posted in Upstate Living
Oct. 7, 2015

What to do? What to do?

Fall in the south is one of the most beautiful times of the year. There isn't a shortage of fun things to do! We've created a list of the things you should definitely do (at least once) and the things you might can skip.

 

Fun for all ages

  • Niven's Apple Farm - This is a MUST for this fall season because it is the last season this iconic farm will be open! You can pick your own apples, visit the pumpkin patch, even pan for gems in the Upstate's largest outdoor gem mine! Take part in all of their fall festivities before it's too late!
  • Denver Downs Corn Maze - The historic farm hosts a corn maze every October, along with other fun farm activities. They have a variety of corn maze activity options and a giant pumpkin patch, so don't be surprised when you lose the track of time.
  • Strawberry Hill USA - If you've ever driven down Highway 11 towards Chesnee, you've probably noticed strawberry hill. J.E. Cooley Farms is a local landmark and people flock there to see the picturesque view. After a yummy meal in their café, head out to the peach shed for fresh produce, hayrides, pumpkin picking and a visit from their famous Mr. Troll.
  • Boo in the Zoo : Greenville Zoo - Ideal for anyone who loves animals and Halloween! Kids 12 and under can dress up and have fun trick-or-treating alongside their favorite animals and join in the fun in the "unhaunted house".

Good for a Date Night

  • Fall for Greenville - While it might not be a typical "date night" atmosphere, you will definitely feel like kids again as you wander through beautiful Downtown Greenville, stopping to try food from numerous restaurants and finding room to dance along to any one of the live concerts.
  • Oktoberfest - This German event is held in most Upstate cities. Whether or not there is free entertainment doesn't matter. The focal point of this festival is the delicious German food and beverages!
  • Piedmont Interstate Fair - Yes, the fair is an IDEAL family outing, but just think of how much fun you and your honey will have snuggled up close on the ferris wheel sharing a funnel cake.

You can't forget...

  • Friday Night Lights and College Gameday - Football in the south; it's not just a game, it's a lifestyle! Support your local team, whether it's high school or college, and tailgate at the next home game.
  • Hiking - Whether you make the drive to Table Rock, Chimney Rock, Pisgah National Forest, or Big Bradley, put those hiking boots on and enjoy nature! With the hot summer sun slowly drifting to sleep, it is the perfect weather to get outside and stretch your legs before winter shuts you in!
  • Fall Foliage - It wouldn't be fall without the rich colors of the changing leaves. Take a Sunday afternoon drive up the mountains to see the amazing views of this place we call home.

Skip away

  • Haunted Houses - For some, getting scared is a blast but for others, it is a panic inducing thought. If your group is all part of the "we scare because we care" club, by all means, hit every haunted house you can! But if you aren't a fan, save your money and attend any of the free events held in your town.

Fall is the perfect time for wild cats and gentle souls alike, so whether you're picking pumpkins or scaring your friends, have fun and be safe!

Tell us about your favorite fall activity!!

Posted in Upstate Living
Oct. 1, 2015

The Less Scary Way to Hoard

Show of hands; how many of you have been (slightly) traumatized by an episode of "Hoarders"? I definitely raised my hand! It's a thin line between holding on to something for future use or sentimental purposes and crazy lady with mountains of useless junk, right? Well, maybe not so much. According to Bob Vila (yes, THAT Bob Vila), there are some items that are ok to hoard.

 

  • Hey wino, I'm talking to you!

You've seen that super cute wine cork display on Pinterest and have been stockpiling corks ever since, but what are the chances of you actually finishing the project? Probably not very much considering the amount of wine you'd need to drink to come up with that many corks would leave you highly inebriated. However, if you just love the idea of saving them, there are plenty of other uses for them. Cut the cork into slices and put them under furniture for floor protection or donate them to a company that recycles used cork.

  • Saves your package today, destroys the environment tomorrow

Those ridiculous Styrofoam packing peanuts may save that Faberge egg you just ordered, but it will take many, many, MANY lifetimes for them to breakdown. Instead of throwing them away, put them in the bottom of planter pots for better drainage or stuff them in that old bean bag chair you should've tossed 20 years ago to make it like new again.

  • If duct tape can't fix it...

It's broken forever. It's like there's a duct tape fairy that comes to everyone's home every so often because no one remembers buying it, but it's always there! You can use it for just about everything; repairing rips or tears, removing pet hair, even making wallets!

  • Wire, Wire Everywhere

Much like with duct tape, wire clothes hangers seem to just appear out of thin air. If you have too many hangers for your clothes, use the old wire hangers in the garden as a trellis or a drain de-clogger. If you're particularly handy, you might could use it to re-string your favorite hoodie or sweatpants (that you've also been hoarding...)

  • Versatility is your new best friend

We all love options. If there can be 10 ways to use 1 item, you bet we'd jump on that bandwagon! One item that screams "versatility" is a dryer sheet. Those nifty things can be used to dust, stop soap scum, and keep drawers and luggage smelling fresh and not musty. And if you're like me and have a son who can clear a room with his stinky feet, stuff some sheets into their shoes to de-funk that stench.

  • Beauty products ARE useful

Next time your wife or daughter buys nail polish, instead of grunting, say thank you! Not only can the colored polishes help to distinguish which keys belong to which lock, but the clear polish can slow a windshield crack, fix a window screen, stop panty hose from running, or prevent screws from rusting.

 

Hoarding is a costly (and sometimes deadly) habit, but hoarding the right things has the potential to save! See here for the full list.

Posted in Home Tips
Sept. 21, 2015

Home Appraisals: What They Mean to the Whole Process

If you've ever bought or sold a home, you're probably familiar with a home appraisal. If you've never dealt with real estate (or you have but just nodded your head and smiled until the closing) hearing that term may result in your eyes getting that glazed over look. Home appraisals, to put it nicely, are BOOOOOORRRRIIINNNGG, but boy are they important! Basically, a home appraisal is a (very) educated guess as to how much a property is worth. Without appraisals, the real estate market just wouldn't exist. Without appraisals, financial institutions wouldn't know how much to lend a prospective buyer because they won't know what the loan collateral could sell for should something go wrong. What does that mean? Imagine for a second that you bought a home for $500,000 but could only sell it for $50,000; you wouldn't be thrilled. Well, that's exactly how financial institutions feel. They don't want to loan a buyer $500,000 for a home and only get $50,000 should a situation arise that they would need to sell it. We've come up with a few frequently asked questions to help you understand a little more about home appraisals.

When are they done?  Home appraisals are typically done after a contract is negotiated and signed. This can be a tricky situation, as an appraisal could cause a contract to fall apart should it come back wildly different from the agreed upon price. Most contracts include a contingency clause that if a property doesn't appraise well, it can be renegotiated, but always double check with your agent. You wouldn't want to be contractually obligated to buy a house that isn't worth what you're paying.

How long do they take? Since the housing bubble burst in the late 2000's, appraisals now usually take between 1-2 weeks.

Who pays for them? Normally the seller pays for the appraisal. The average price in South Carolina is around $310, but in Greenville the average price is around $280. You can go to www.appraisers.promatcher.com to see the average price where you live.

Isn't an appraisal and an inspection the same? It would seem so, but really they are very different. Both an appraiser and an inspector look around the house, but that's where the similarities end. An inspector looks at everything and determines if there are any defects or damages to the home that will cost the buyer later. An appraiser looks at everything and determines the value of the home. Deferred maintenance will most certainly affect the inspection, but an appraiser takes into account the home, the property, comparable homes, and more.

Is there anything (as a seller) you can do? Once the appraisal process starts, there's not really anything a seller can do to help. That's not to say there's nothing they can do. Before an appraiser visits your home, tidy up. No, an un-vacuumed rug isn't going to alter an appraisal, but you want the appraiser to see your homes full potential. Another helpful tactic is to make a list of all renovations or repairs you have done to the home. It may not matter a bit, but you'd rather leave that decision up to the appraiser.

What happens if you get a super low appraisal? As a buyer, if the appraisal comes back significantly lower than the contract price, something needs to change. A lender isn't going to loan more than the appraisal, so if your contract has a contingency clause, a renegotiation is likely to be in your future, or you may decide to walk away altogether. As a seller, you may decide to get a second opinion. If the low number is based on needed repairs and maintenance, you may be able to fix whatever's needed if the appraiser is willing to take a second look. Most likely though, you will need to adjust your expectations and renegotiate the contract.

Yes, appraisals can be a pain in your behind, but it's one of the most important steps in the home buying/selling process. It protects both the buyer and the seller, and keeps the entire real estate market in check.

 

Posted in Buying, Selling