Perfect Home Story for a Veteran!

Real Estate

My client & his wife have been together for 21 years, they are in their 50s. He has a Military back ground, served with the 101st Air Borne Division did tours in Korea, Germany, Panama, and several post State side. He attended Pace University in NY and worked for The City of NY. His wife works at the Hospital for the past 29 years. I love my Vet buyers!!

My buyer asked me to put in an offer house unseen (and this house had multiple offers). As a realtor I advocate for my clients to the full extent to get them the house they want. I wrote an introduction letter on behalf of my client and the sellers knew it was a perfect home match. Today my buyer and his family got the house and they are under contract set to close in less than 30 days! I am so happy for this deserving family!

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Tips for Buying a House 

Real Estate

 Choosing a Realtor®

Of all the decisions you’ll face when buying a home, there’s none more important than the person you choose to represent you.

The job of your Sales Associate is to support you in finding the right home with the best possible terms and to aid you through the entire process. Your Sales Associate will explain the process of buying a home, and familiarize you with the various activities, documents and procedures that you will experience throughout the transaction.

Tips For Selecting A Realtor®

Your Real Estate Professional should be:

  • Knowledgeable about the communities of interest to you.
  • Aware of the complicated local and state requirements affecting your transaction.
  • Effective in multi-party, face-to-face negotiations.
  • Highly-trained, with access to programs for continued learning and additional certifications.
  • Technology-focused.
  • Supported by professional legal counsel.

Financing

Most real estate professionals and mortgage lenders recommend pre-qualifying for a loan before selecting a home to purchase. This process will help you:

  • Determine the price range you can afford.
  • Understand the types of loans you qualify for.
  • Determine what your monthly payment will be.
  • Estimate the down payment and closing costs.

The Loan Process

Your Sales Associate will help you to select a mortgage lender. Once you have made your decision, these are the steps of the process:

Application – All pertinent documentation is obtained. Fees and down payments are discussed, and the borrower will receive a Loan Estimate, itemizing the rates and associated costs for the loan.

You will be asked to provide certain documents to your lender in order that your loan can be processed in a timely manner.

Loan Submission – Once all the necessary documentation is in, your completed file is submitted to a lender for approval.

Loan Approval (Underwriting) – Loan approval, or underwriting, generally takes 24 to 72 hours. All parties are notified of the approval and any loan conditions that must be received before the loan can close.

Closing – Once all parties have signed the loan documents, they are returned to the lender. If all the forms have been properly executed, the lender sends the loan funds by wire transfer. At this point, the borrower finishes the loan process and actually buys the house.

Finding and Choosing the Right Home

Based on criteria that you and your Sales Associate establish together, your Associate will help you find the perfect home. There are many factors to consider in selecting a property, including location, bedroom and bath count, schools and amenities.

Your Sales Associate will apply their extensive community knowledge and professional resources to research available properties and show you the homes that best meet your needs. If you find a property that interests you through the Internet or your own research, let your Sales Associate know so that a showing can be arranged.

As you view different properties, your criteria may change. Open and direct communication with your Sales Associate is a key element of a successful property search.

Making an Offer

Once you have found the home that you wish to purchase, your Sales Associate will apply their professional training and do all the necessary research to help you structure an effective offer.

This is where your Sales Associate’s negotiation skills come into play. When an offer is made, the seller will have the option of accepting, rejecting or counter-offering. Your Sales Associate will negotiate the best possible terms for you.

Your Sales Associate will draft the purchase agreement, advising you of protective contingencies, customary practices, and local regulations. Home warranty, title, and escrow arrangements will be detailed in the offer. Although your Sales Associate will give you advice and information, it is your decision as to the exact price and terms that you wish to offer.

Managing the Escrow

When the purchase agreement is accepted and signed by all parties, your Sales Associate will open escrow for you and your earnest money will be deposited. The escrow is a neutral third party that will receive, hold, and distribute all funds associated with your transaction.

Removing Contingencies

Prior to closing escrow, all of the contingencies of the Purchase Agreement must be met. Your Sales Associate will coordinate this process. Typical contingencies include:

  • Approval of the preliminary title report.
  • Loan approval, including an appraisal of the property.
  • Physical inspections of the property.
  • Pest inspection and certification.
  • Acquisition of homeowner’s insurance.
  • Approval of the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement.

Closing Escrow and Moving In!

When all of the conditions of the purchase agreement have been met, you will sign your loan documents and closing papers. You will deposit the balance of your down payment and closing costs to escrow, and your lender will deposit the balance of the purchase price. The deed will then be recorded at the County Recorder’s office and you will take ownership of your home.

Your Sales Associate is a valuable source of helpful tips for planning and coordinating your move. Contact me today:

Article Source: :http://www.wilkinsonera.com/pages/55585/real-estate-tips-for-buying.aspx

Out & About with Tina: The Women of Paris Walking Tour experience! 

Out and About with Tina, Uncategorized

I had the pleasure of attending the Women Of Paris walking tour. I wanted to learn more about women writers in Paris. This tour showed me where the successful women writers of Paris lived and created. As a group, we also stopped for some sweet treats along the way. 

There were some amazing people in the group (more than a few)..but you know I keep it real. Heidi, The host and founder of the tour company Women in Paris was informative and knowledgeable about the history, which I enjoyed. However, she made one or three chummy jokes at my expense and she didn’t get a Trip Advisor review from me. Although I still do recommend the amazing tour, it was all in European humor and fun… I guess what goes around comes around because we had a child psychologist from Vancouver in the group, I jokingly asked her for an impromptu therapy session. The joke did not go over well and the child Dr. And her friend literally did not talk to me for the rest of the tour😂Thank God there were some cool people with a good sense of humor in the small group, like Tom and Angela, the newlyweds from Seattle. Tom works in real estate and awesome Angela is an attorney with great colorful hair. We have since kept in contact via Facebook! Last but not least in the group my spirit twin and buddy, Wonjeung!!!  from South Korea, who is a student studying computer science. Wonjeung and I ran around Paris all day after the tour and it was good to run the streets and talk about our Paris experience. We still keep in contact online and send holiday cards! 

Now that you have all the group dynamics, here are all the accomplished women that were discussed on the walking tour and the places we visited for our snacks. I’ve included some pictures of the tour below! 
Women Writers of Paris:

The brilliant Simone de Beauvoir and her daring activism,

The radical Antoinette Fouque and her Editions des Femmes,

The scandalous Colette and her struggle for independence, 

The rebellious George Sand and her cross-dressing liberalism,

The benevolent Sylvia Beach and her love of literature…

Eateries:

Popelini Chou à la créme / Meert Waffle / Un Dimanche à Paris Macaron / Pierre Marcolini Chocolate / La Tarte Tropézienne Baby Trop 

Random picture of something Parisian

Wonjeung at Meert! 

Tom in the window!!

Hilarious Heidi 


Top 5 Tips on How Not to Annoy a Real Estate Agent (but no agent will tell you)

Real Estate

Okay, we Realtors understand how not to annoy our clients. We know what makes clients happy. Y’all love Realtors to respond promptly to you, be on time, don’t be a pushy salesman, know the market well and be the first to get you the new hottest listings and sell your house swiftly at or over market value . We know! But these tips are for Y’all this time. Here are tips for buyers on how not to annoy your Realtor!!

1. Free Home Sightseeing Field Trips

If you know you’re not in the market to buy a house do not ask a real estate agent to show you houses. Any experienced and successful agent will qualify a buyer appropriately. A Pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender is the best resources we have to ensure customers are a ready and able buyer. If you know you don’t want to buy now start by visiting open houses in your area to get an idea of what’s available on the market. Asking a Realtor to show you houses if you have no intention of buying a house is like nails to a chalkboard to a real estate agent’s ears. To be clear it’s like your boss coming to your desk and saying we don’t want to pay you right now but we want you to keep working and if we decide to pay you we will let you know when the time is right. I can imagine the look on anyone’s face if their boss actually said that out loud.

Let’s say you are on the fence about homeownership but you still want to look at some houses. Let’s say you fall in love with a house a Realtor showed and you ask your Realtor to put in an offer for you. A strong offer includes proof of funds I.E. a Pre-approval letter. Even if you are confident you can afford the house your offer most likely will be turned down over another offer that already includes proof of funds. Perhaps you really fall in love with a house and you don’t know if you can afford it but you’ve seen the house and you have to have it now. By the time you are able to get pre-approved in this market the house will most likely already be under contract with another buyer who was more prepared. Let’s say you love a house that’s out of your budget in a neighborhood you can’t afford, then any house after that won’t be good enough and you’ll be clinically depressed.

On the other hand, If you want to buy a house but you don’t know if you are financially able to buy, or you are not sure how much you can afford a Realtor can help you with a solution(in advance). A Realtor can connect you with a mortgage broker if you don’t already have one. A good mortgage broker will be able to tell you if you can afford a home, which type of loan is best for you, how much house you can afford and what your potential monthly payment might be, based on the current interest rate. Ask the mortgage broker how much you can qualify for and get a pre-approval letter. If you are pre-approved then you’re ready to start looking at houses with a Real Estate Agent!

2. A Realtor’s Work is Never Done?

False! Guess what, we got lives. It doesn’t mean we won’t do our best to get ahead of any issues and answer you promptly but let’s put this in perspective, no one will crash and burn if agents answer their emails only during business hours.  I know you buyers and sellers don’t want to hear this but some of us agents have families, other clients, friends, and travel plans. It is buyers and sellers etiquette to ask what hours your real estate agent typically works and stick to that, as any professional with good boundaries do not work 24 hours.

3. Be Loyal 

Before I was a Realtor I had no idea it was wrong to work with two agents. Now it seems so clear but I just assumed whoever found the house or was able to sell the house I wanted would be my agent. Wrong.  Realtors put a lot of work upfront to find the perfect house or sell your house for you and if one weekend you decide to work with another agent because your Realtor was in a meeting it shows no consideration or loyalty. We don’t like those types of customers. The best thing to do is sign a buyer’s agency with your agent as this protects you in the long run. This agreement is simply an agreement that says your Realtor represents you and has your best interest at hand otherwise the agent represents the other side by law and has to disclose anything you tell them to the other side. Protect yourself and sign or else don’t say anything about finances or share personal information.

4.You Get What You Pay For!

Do not ask for a discount unless you want discounted services. What you may not know is agents do a lot to ensure your home closes smoothly (on the buying or selling side). Keep in mind Realtors don’t have a salary or get paid until the end of the transaction(Unless of course they charge a retainer fee which is done in some states) However, our job is not done at the closing table good agents follow up and keep in touch to make sure clients are enjoying their new home. Agents put time effort, heart, and resources in every transaction in advance. In addition, we split our commission with our agency and the other side as well. The final number we receive is not what it appears to be in the closing disclosure. If we are selling your home, for example, we are doing the job of many people including but not limited to an in-house therapist, planner, marketing and selling VP and we act as a Bill Clinton top-level negotiator, researcher, driver, measurements specalist, and caretaker just to name a few of our responsibilities.

For those of you who still don’t see whats wrong with asking your agent for a discount Here’s another quick example to put this in perspective of why it is improper to ask your Realtor for a discount, if your boss came to your desk (again) and said I need you to work on this special project but we don’t want to pay you a full salary because we can’t afford to, it would take too much out of our bottom line. However, we want you to work the same amount of time and effort for less money and we want you to find someone to buy our product while you work on a discounted salary. Would that be okay with you? No! and you will lose respect if you abide. According to the national association of Realtors, Ninety percent of sellers listed their homes on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is the number one source for sellers to list their home. In Charlotte, it was 94 percent.  The best way to sell your home is to list your home on The MLS that only Realtors have access to. working with a Realtor is the best way to have a smooth closing and receive the best value for your home.

5.Put Some Respect On It

Don’t mistake your Google search for my Real Estate license! Just-said-it!  Put some respect on it!! Be informed but don’t be a know it all. Remember Realtors are on your side we want you to have the home of your dreams and help you to make the most profit on your home that the market will allow. We work hard for you. Again please respect us, be kind thoughtful, have a great attitude and ask questions if you don’t understand.

Lastly, don’t forget us! The way Realtors make a living is mostly through referrals so if you did have a good experience with your Realtor tell everyone you know about your positive experience. Tell your friends family, neighbors, Facebook friends, co-workers, and church members, for God’s sake. Don’t forget to write a 5-star review for your agent on any online platform you use including  Google, Yelp, Zillow etc.

If you stick to these tips most likely you won’t annoy your Realtor! No promises.

Get To Know Charlotte’s Expert Realtor: Tina Whittaker

Real Estate

​I’m originally from Bloomfield Hills, MI.  My family and I moved to Paris, France while I was in high school where I graduated from The American School Of Paris.  This experience inspired me to study International Business Marketing and French at Eastern Michigan University. After college, I moved to Miami, Florida to escape from the harsh Michigan winters.  This is where I learned true grit and resourcefulness, such as how to parallel park in the tightest of spaces, negotiate rent prices, find the best Cuban coffee, and survive hurricane season.  In 2007, I decided to move to Charlotte, one of the top thriving cities for young adults.

Moving to Charlotte was the best decision I’ve ever made!  I’m familiar with a variety of neighborhoods in Charlotte as a result of living in many areas, including South Charlotte, Plaza Midwood, University Huntersville, and Northlake. In 2012, I purchased a home in the new and hip Charlotte neighborhood, Windsor Park. I am happy to report I was able to sell that home for 75k more than I purchased it for just 5 years later.  My professional background includes entrepreneurship, executive level management experience, and working in marketing for two major companies headquartered in the Charlotte area.

I’m delighted to work as a Realtor licensed in North Carolina and South Carolina. I look forward to meeting new, amazing clients. I am passionate about helping others find a home that they cherish, securing the best deals for families, selling homes at the highest value and helping first time home buyers!

When I am not working in real estate, I enjoy eclectic hobbies including writing, studying French, entrepreneurship, water aerobics, international and domestic travel, and riding my bicycle with my rescue dog running alongside of me. I also enjoy yoga, playing basketball, live music, dining with friends, volunteering, going to the movies, current events and attending church.

Contact me today if you’re looking to buy or sell a home!

 Tina Whittaker

Wilkinson ERA Realty

Realtor® Broker NC/SC

Cell: 704-657-3381 Email:Tinaewhittaker@gmail.com