About Yvonne Schaefer

I am a Real Estate Broker at Keller Williams Realty in Cary, NC and President of Hands of Compassion International supporting our Health Center in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Here are some important things to know about me: -Consistent follow up and attention to detail during real estate transactions -Awarded Top Listing Agent and Top Selling Agent awards in my office. -Constantly improving computer and internet knowledge -Focused area is Raleigh, NC. This includes the surrounding areas of Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Fuquay Varina, Clayton and Knightdale. -2007 and 2008 President of the Raleigh Chapter of the Women's Council of Realtors -2008 Member of Year - Raleigh Chapter, Women's Council of Realtors -Customer Service "SuperStar" Award - Monarch Services @ IBM -Board of Directors of Hands of Compassion International. I have served on this Board for eight years. -Lead teams of medical personnel to Guayaquil, Ecuador every year to provide free medical care to the poor who have no other means of receiving this type of assistance. To date, I have led 16 teams providing humanitarian care to Ecuador. -Married for 35 years and mother of 4 sons - three of which have served in the military. - Grandmother ("Mimi") to 3 yr old Alia, 10 month old twins David and Caleb, 4 month old Myka and 1 month old Olivia! Call me at 919.624.6055 or email yschaefer@kw.com. Visit www.AskYvonneBlog.com; www.BestRaleighListings.com; www.RaleighBargainHomes.com

Short Sale “Treasure”

Q. My friend told me about this house on ****. Can you check it out for me?

A. Well, that one looks like it is a short sale. We don’t have very many short sales in our market anymore, but once in a while one pops up. Short sales can be tricky. There’s several important things to understand about a short sale.The seller owes more on the home than the current market value. This used to happen a lot a few years ago when the real estate value dipped. It’s much less common now.

Let’s say the seller bought the house for $210,000 and got 100% financing. When they go to sell the house, they find the market value is $200,000. Once they factor in all the costs for selling the house and the difference in market value, they discover they owe more to the bank than they will get when they sell.

The seller stills owns the property but cannot sell because they would have to pay the bank that extra money. They will have to go to the bank and ask the bank to “forgive” them the difference. This is a complicated process that can take a long time. In North Carolina, only attorneys (or the owners themselves) are allowed to negotiate with the bank.

What this means to you as a buyer is that the seller doesn’t really know what the bank is going to do about this “forgiveness” of his debt. They may say yes. They may say no. And no one knows when the bank is going to respond. It could take weeks and even months to get an answer from them. In the meantime, your earnest money deposit is tied up and you don’t even know if the bank is going to allow the seller to sell the house for the price listed.

Which brings me to my next point…Just because the house is listed for a certain price, and the contract between the seller and the buyer is for a certain price, the bank doesn’t have to accept that sales price! It is not uncommon to wait for months to hear from the bank and when you do it is with a response that negates your contract price.

We really don’t have that many short sales anymore in this area. And frankly, it’s a special buyer that can hang on long enough and that is flexible enough with the price to make it work.

Lastly, most short sales are actually listed pretty close to the market value. In fact, the banks are requiring the sales price to be near the market value. So, they are really a “deal” anymore.

I’d recommend we keep looking for something else. With your lease coming up shortly, I don’t think you have the time to deal with a short sale.

When Can I Move?

Q. Hi, Yvonne! I’m sorry to pester you with so many questions but since I’ve never done this before I just want to be sure.  So the closing is supposed to be ***, correct?  Does that mean that I will officially be able to move there at that time?
A. It’s no bother at all. That’s what I’m here for…
On the day of closing you will sign all your paperwork at the attorney’s office. You will need to bring your drivers license and any money required to purchase the house. The lender will give you an estimate of what that amount will be. You will probably find out the exact amount the day before closing.
After you sign all the papers, the attorney needs to record the new deed with the county’s Register of Deeds. Until these documents are recorded you don’t actually own the house – even though you signed everything. That means that you won’t get your keys until the deed is recorded. Fortunately, Wake County has an electronic filing system. It used to be that we would have to wait until the end of the day for the attorney to go to the courthouse to file. It’s much faster now!
Typically, you will come to the closing and sign a stack of papers. Then the attorney’s office will contact me – and I’ll call you – when the deed is recorded. Depending on how busy the attorney’s office is that day and when your closing time is set, it should only be an hour or so for them to be able to record. Once you get that call, you can come back to the attorney’s office and get your key!
Sometimes, if the closing is very late in the day and the attorney misses the filing time limit, the recording may not happen until the next morning. That means you would not get the key until then. This is something Team Schaefer tries to avoid when we are scheduling closings, so it’s pretty rare for that to happen.
By the way, that’s why I said I do not like to schedule closings on Fridays. If something delays the closing, and the deed doesn’t get recorded on Friday afternoon, it would beMonday before the keys would be available. That is a terrible, terrible circumstance since most people would have the moving truck and crew ready for that weekend – but wouldn’t have access to the house. We do our absolute best to never have that happen to our clients.

Seller Under Contract Q&A

Q. Well, you did it! We just signed the contract to sell our house. Thanks, Yvonne! What’s next?

A. Congratulations! You did such a good job of keeping your house in tip top shape for the showings. And now we enter the next stage of the process of getting your house sold.

Just a couple of reminders:

1) The buyers Due Diligence is through (example: April 10). During this time they will be doing inspections and other research on the property (HOA info, etc). It’s quite likely they will do a home inspection, a termite inspection and conduct a radon test. Because you were proactive and performed a pre-listing home inspection, there should not be too many surprises.

2) After the inspections – and still during the Due Diligence period – it is quite likely the buyers will ask for you to do some repairs. Be prepared for them to ask you to hire a licensed contractor to do the repairs. We can help with getting those tradesmen lined up, if you would like. You also have the opportunity to give the lockbox code to such tradesmen, in case the scheduling gets too complicated for you. The code to your lockbox is ++++.

3) The buyer will also be getting their financing in order during Due Diligence. Team Schaefer will be in communication with the buyers agent (and possibly the lender) to make sure all target dates are hit during this process.

4) I just want to make sure we are all clear that any time during the Due Diligence period the buyer has the right to terminate – for any reason. So, circle (ex. April 10) on your calendar. It’s a big day! Once we get past 5 pm on (ex. April 10), the deal is solid. While I recommend that you begin to pack up (since this buyer appears to be financially sound and we already know what the inspection items are probably going to be), I would not make any major moves until Due Diligence is past.

5) When we receive notice when the home inspection is going to take place, it would be a good idea for you to have the house back in “show” condition. This is when the buyers and the inspector will be spending a lot of time in the house. A typical inspection take about 3 hours. The more they feel comfortable with how you have maintained the house, the less possibility of buyers remorse to arise during the inspection.

6) I recommend before the inspection that you peek under the house to make sure you don’t see any active leaks or drooping insulation. I’ve seen deals fall apart because a small active leak had just begun.

You guys have taken such good care of the house, I really don’t foresee any problems at all. I just want all of us to be on our toes until (ex. April 10).

If you have any questions, you can contact myself or my Team Manager, Ashley Hadi. Ashley will be the one driving the contract through the process. Ashley will be keeping me in the loop at all times.

Congratulations again!!!!

Best Time to Buy Appliances

So, it looks like I need a plan for replacing appliances in my kitchen  pretty soon.

It turns out, just like buying cars, the best months to buy appliances are September and October. The new models come out in the Fall and the stores are discounting the previous year’s models. The exception is refrigerators – new models come out in May.

Of course, January is also a great month to buy appliances since the stores are working to clear out their inventory. The issue may be that your selection will probably be more limited.

Lastly, it’s much better to go appliance shopping on a weekday, if at all possible. The sales people are busier on the weekends and less likely to chat about the different features and benefits. You also might feel a lot more pressured to buy faster on the weekend. Take your time…go to the store after work and do your research at a more relaxed pace.

How old are your appliances?

When we recently bought a house in Cary, NC, Jim and I had a very intense discussion about appliances. Acting as my own agent, I negotiated for the appliances to stay in the house. They were old but functioning. We decided to just haul off the old washer and dryer. I am now the proud owner of front loading washer and dryer. Anybody else enjoying theirs? We love them!

Now we are looking at replacing kitchen appliances. Let me rephrase that…I am looking at replacing the kitchen appliances. Jim’s not so excited about that. I think we should buy them all at once so they all match. Jim would prefer to purchase them as they wear out.  So far, they are still working. Of course, we’ve only been in the house for two months!

In order for me to gather my facts to convince my husband we need new appliances, I’ve found some really helpful information.

First, do you know the average life span of your appliances? Refrigerators average life span is 14 years and dishwashers average 12 years.  Stoves average 15 years. Microwaves are supposed to average 8 years, but I’ve gone through several of them within that time frame. Maybe I’m using it too much?

Anyway, so I thought to state my case for buying all new appliances to my hubby I should find out how old the appliances really are at my newly purchased house. I plugged in the information for each appliance and found the date of manufacture. Cool!

Fridge: 14 years old

Microwave: 12 years old

Dishwasher: 2 years old (Who knew!!)

Stove: I couldn’t find the serial and model numbers.

Garbage Disposal: 9 years old

Know the age of your appliances too!

That means we need to save up for a fridge, microwave, garbage disposal and probably a stove because they are almost at the end of their life. Whew! I need to sell a lot more houses. Who do you know looking to sell their house in Raleigh, NC?

Turning Utilities Off

Q. Please help us settle an argument. Now that we’ve moved out and you’ve listed our house, my husband wants to turn the utilities off. I think we should keep it warm and having lights for showings. What do you think?

 

A. While it appears to make financial sense to cut off the utilities it can actually cost you a LOT of money.

Here’s why… 

 

When a buyer comes to look at your property, you want them to comfortable. You want them to spend some time poking around and seeing all the cool features of your house. They won’t do that when they are cold! A dark, cold house will stay on the market much longer than a warm inviting house.

 

There’s two more reasons to leave the utilities on:

 

1) If the weather turns very cold (yes, it sometimes happens in Raleigh, NC!) you could put your water pipes at risk.

2) Once we go under contract, the buyer will want to do a home inspection and the utilities must be on for the inspection. There’s been many a time I’ve scheduled a home inspection for a buyer only to find out that the utilities aren’t on. It really messes up the schedule. I’ve seen this problem cause a delay of more than a week. Buyer will probably extend the Due Diligence period (which is NOT good for the seller).