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Selling your house? Buyers judge the sellers too!

Buyer judgments can make or break the sale when you are selling your house.  We all understand that the buyer is judging the property when they are searching for a home, but did you know buyers judge the sellers too?

Here’s some insight into common home buying judgments so you can avoid the mistakes that could cost you when you sell your home.

The buyer and seller role in home sales:


The goal of a home buyer is to purchase the best house for the least amount of money.

The buyer’s objective is to make sure they get the best house at the lowest price.  To meet that goal they will attempt to gather information on the home and the sellers.  They use that information to craft the offer that will meet their goal.

This article will help you understand some of the motivations and common traits that we see when we help buyers search for a home.


The goal of a home seller is to sell their home for the most amount of money in the shortest timeframe.

People do not sell homes all the time so they are not aware that even small things can hinder a sale and change the opinion of the buyer.  Remember, the buyer is looking for the best deal while the seller is looking for the most profit.

Review the information below and try to incorporate these suggestions when you sell.  If you heed the advice you should greatly increase your success rate.

Why do they want to sell?

When a buyer is seriously considering purchasing a home they almost always ask their agent “do you know why they are selling?”

The motivation for the sale provides lots of information to the buyer. It’s a big purchase so the buyers are looking for any insight to help them craft an offer that helps their cause.

Divorce is hard

Do you think they are selling because they are getting a divorce?

If buyers find out that you are going through a divorce they will assume that you are in a high-pressure situation and you may accept less for the house.  In the buyer’s mind divorce and discount go hand in hand.

How would they know you are divorcing?

The telltale signs of divorce are easy to spot.  Does the family home look like a bachelor pad with many items missing?  Is half the closet empty?  Are there hints of a woman’s influence but no female articles in the house?  Is there sparse furniture or has most of the children’s toys and items been removed?  These are all surefire signs of divorce that you can see within the house while you’re visiting.

Buyers search for information on social media:

Buyers and their agents will take time to research sellers on social media.  It is easy to find out a lot of information through Google, Facebook or Twitter posts.

Social media posts of every owner will be reviewed.  If anyone says they moved to an apartment that’s a big clue there’s a divorce in the works.  Remarks about single life or comments about arguments will also raise buyer’s eyebrows.

Review your posts and avoid saying anything about moving or lifestyle changes.  In the case of home sales, internet silence truly is golden.

nosey neighbor gladys

Are they selling because they don’t like their neighbors?

Some people are difficult to live around.  When you are dealing with an annoying neighbor it can be very stressful.  You may get fed up and decide “enough is enough, I’m moving to another house and getting the heck away from my neighbor Jill.”

This is a perfectly fine motivation for a move, but be careful that the information isn’t well known.  If buyers hear that there are problems with a neighbor they will assume you’re moving because there’s a psychopathic serial killer in the neighborhood.  I’m not lying.  Buyers tend to go to extremes.  They’re trying to rule out any negatives so they give extra weight to any problem they encounter.  A nosey neighbor becomes a stalker, a cranky neighbor is a serial killer, etc.  You get the picture.

Your neighbors may end up getting along really well with the new people, but if you posted online about how much your neighbors drive you crazy, or if you have talked about them to other neighbors expect that to be revealed to your buyers.

If you can’t remove the information at least try to take the emotion down a notch.

The buyers may try to meet the neighbors before they buy:

Prospective buyers frequently knock on neighbors doors and ask about the neighborhood.  I’ve been present when these encounters happened and I promise you neighbors LOVE to talk about the seller’s motivation for the move.  Neighbors also love to give insights and perspectives on the personality of the sellers.  They will share about any arguments you were involved in.  It truly never fails.  Neighbors love to gossip and they really enjoy gossiping with the new folks.

When the sign goes up in front of your house the neighborhood will start talking.  If you want to get out ahead of any trouble you may want to approach things head on.  Go to your close neighbors and tell them that they might get people asking questions about the neighborhood.  If your neighbors ask why you are leaving be very careful in your response.  Instead of talking about what is wrong with the current neighborhood, focus on where you are going instead.

Don’t say “I’m leaving because I’m sick of my neighbor Bob,” or “I just can’t deal with Jill and her nosey ways” instead say, “We’ve found a great house closer to work” or “we’ve found our dream house.”

Remember if you are not happy because of your neighbors the buyer will assume that there’s some crazy stuff happening next door.  They may walk away completely because they don’t want to inherit the hassle of a bad neighbor.

It’s best to leave your neighbors with positive feelings about you and focus the narrative away from the problems so they don’t get overhyped.  If you plant a seed that you are leaving because you love the new place that will be repeated and will dampen any references that the buyers hear about neighborhood arguments.

What if the neighbors talk about you?

Do not worry if your neighbors complain about you.  From what we’ve seen most buyers are unphased by this.  I guess they assume that their interaction with the seller will be limited.  You will be leaving, so you are not a long term problem.  Whatever your neighbor says may provide insight into your personality but complaints about sellers are not given much weight because interactions with sellers are temporary.

The personalities of the neighbors who will live close by is what the buyers will focus on.

No money to pay mortgage

You are selling so you can live within your budget:

Life throws changes our way.  Sometimes we lose employment or suffer other financial insults.  During these times we may need to move to a more affordable environment.  Plenty of homes are sold because the sellers just can’t afford to keep up the property.  There is definitely no shame in that.

If you are already in foreclosure status that will need to be disclosed while you are on the market.  However, if you are up to date in payments and you are just struggling with paying your mortgage you will want to discuss that with your real estate agent.  Your agent can help you devise a plan to get you moved quickly and for the best possible price.

If the house is just too expensive for your budget, but you are not in foreclosure, there’s absolutely no reason to disclose that to the buyers.  Your agent will know that this is not something that should be shared at any time.  It is confidential information.

If buyers know you were struggling financially they could rightly assume that you would be highly motivated to move and avoid the possibility of bankruptcy or foreclosure.  Buyers might discount their offer because they know you want to get out of this situation as soon as possible.

When everything is in good working order you will get a better price.

Try to address broken items before you go on the market, even if it means taking a small loan to get them fixed.  A broken heating and air conditioning unit (HVAC) might cost $1,000 to fix but if a buyer looks at a home that has a broken HVAC they will assume that they will need to buy a whole new unit.

A brand new HVAC unit may cost $6,000 but the buyer will greatly overestimate the price of the repair or replacement.  So, what should cost $6,000 will blossom to $10,000 in the buyer’s mind.

The bottom line is you could fix the unit for the $1,000 and get top dollar, or avoid fixing it and get offers that are $10,000 less. Buyers are keen to judge costs in their favor and they almost always greatly overestimate the costs of repairs.

Triangle buyers want to be enticed by beauty:

We have noticed that our Triangle area buyers are also very picky and have not very interested in doing repairs.  Triangle area residents are used to having great housing options so we want the nicest home, and we want it to be “move in” status.

If you are trying to sell a home in Wake County it is important to remember that clean, up to date and ready for move in, properties will fetch the best price.  This link will bring you to a list of homes for sale in Wake County between the cost of $300,000 to $400,000.  Take a look at the photos and you’ll see how sellers in our area adjust to attract buyers.

Even the foreclosure market is realizing the need to entice interest.  Today many banks will pay to fix up a foreclosure property to capture the top dollar offers.

Are you desperate?

You look like you are desperate to sell:

If you stay at the property when buyers show up to look at the house it gives off a sense of desperation.  The buyers will be turned off because they will not be able to see the house as anything but YOUR house, and they will feel that you intruded on them.

I have yet to see a buyer put in an offer on a house where the seller was present.  The fact that you are there is very disconcerting to the buyers.  Buyers are looking to see if the house is a good fit for their needs and the seller’s presence instinctively gives off the signal that it is not their property.  When sellers are on site their presence is seen as a territorial move.  Buyers immediately rule out these properties because they can’t get past that claim of ownership.

If you absolutely need to stick close to the house, consider going for a walk in the neighborhood or at least stay in your car and park down the street.  Whatever you do stay busy and disconnected so you can give the buyers time to fall in love with the house.

remove family photos when selling

It’s your home, not theirs:

Another thing to consider is to make sure that the house doesn’t look like your home.  You are trying to entice a buyer so you want it to become their home as much as possible.

At the very least, personal items and pictures need to be stored away.   Buyers will be naturally drawn to pictures, particularly personal photos.  If they spend too much time focusing on personal photos inside a home they will stop seeing the house as a good option.  The more time they spend on your personal items, the less likely it is that you will get an offer. Again, psychologically they are learning that the house belongs to the family in the photos.

Consider Staging the House:

The goal of selling a house is to help the buyers visualize that the house is their home.  Displaying personal photos suggest that the home has already been claimed.  Seller personalization should be avoided at all costs.  Instead, try to create a blank slate by focusing on staging.

When we work with sellers we always stage their home.  Staging helps to create great marketing, it is appealing to most buyers and it helps to bring in top dollar offers.  The changes we make truly help to entice interest.  If you are looking to get your home sold quickly and for the best price, you should definitely consider staging.

For Rent.png

You are selling because you want to stop being a landlord:

Selling an occupied rental home comes with a whole set of difficulties.  If you are in this situation it’s best to talk to your agent.  We can come up with a plan to effectively sell the house without interfering with the renter’s lifestyle.

We have worked with many people who are in this situation so we are happy to chat with you about what strategy would work for you.  Call us at (919) 481-4914 or send us a note below, and we’ll reach out to you.




The post Selling your house? Buyers judge the sellers too! appeared first on Triangle Area Real Estate.

8 Signs That You’ve Picked the Right Real Estate Agent

Buying or selling a home can be a complicated and stressful experience. There can be a lot of moving parts involved that may come as a surprise to people who have never been through the process before. This is why having a great real estate agent is critical.

Picking the right agent isn’t always easy, but you’ll definitely know if you’ve picked the right one for you. Here are seven signs that you’ve made a great decision in picking your real estate agent:

1. You like being around them

You don’t have to be head over heels in love with your real estate agent, but you need to at least enjoy being around him or her. You will spend a lot of time communicating with your agent, so the relationship needs to be a good one to help make the experience as painless as possible. There’s nothing worse than dealing with a person who you don’t like being around, especially if the going gets rough. If you don’t cringe at the sound of your agent’s voice, and you actually feel comforted when you see they’re calling, then you might have found the right one.

2. They’re responsive and available

This point is non-negotiable. A good real estate agent will make themselves available to you and won’t leave you hanging when you’re waiting for a response. If your agent is leaving you feeling like a spurned date, they’re doing something wrong. The right agent understands how important and serious a real estate transaction is, and will always make sure to make your needs a priority.

3. They’ve asked you to get pre-approved

If you’re a buyer and you haven’t spoken with a mortgage professional before going out and looking at houses, a good real estate agent will ask you to. They’ll even be able to point you to some great lenders so that you can get the best rates! It might be frustrating if you don’t understand the reasons why you should get pre-approved, but a good agent knows that it’s for your own benefit just as much as theirs. There are a number of important things you might find out by going through the pre-approval process, many of which you should know before spending any of your time searching for a home. A good agent knows this, and wants you to know as well.

4. They’re proactive and not just reactive

This is one indicator that will set the right agent apart from everyone else. The right agent will not just go through the motions and take orders, they will be proactive in helping you identify and find the right solutions. For instance, instead of just sitting back and waiting for you to send properties you might have come across, a great agent is always on the hunt for the ideal property for you, and will communicate and suggest things that you might never have considered before. Being proactive is a mark of a true real estate professional.

5. They’re honest with you, even when it hurts

Just like honesty is important in a romantic relationship, so is honesty in a real estate relationship. The right agent will tell you the truth when you need to hear it, even if it’s inconvenient for them. It takes a lot of guts to be honest with someone when it might cost you money, but it’s also an ethical imperative, and a great agent will always put their own character, honesty, and integrity ahead of making a buck. And if they have to tell you the harsh truth that what you’re looking for is impossible, the right agent will do that too.

6. They don’t give up easily

A real estate transaction rarely goes off without a hitch these days, and sometimes it feels like the universe is conspiring to keep you from buying or selling a home. But it’s much easier to throw your hands in the air and say “I give up,” or “Someone else can figure this out,” than it is to buckle down and come up with a solution. The right agent doesn’t give up, and will uncover a way to keep things moving, even it takes some creativity. The right agent fights for you, and doesn’t throw in the towel after getting jabbed.

7. They want to build a relationship

One of the best signs that you’ve picked the right agent actually occurs either before or after you work with them on a deal. Even though real estate is transactional, the best agents look to build a relationship with their clients instead of just working with them on a deal and then disappearing. If your agent stays in touch, presents themselves as a constant resource, and is in it with you for the long-haul, then you’ve definitely found the right one for you.

8. They’re Triangle Trusted Realtors

The brokers at Triangle Trusted Realty are dedicated to creating life long relationships with their clients.  That winning attitude and client-focused mentality are some of the reasons why they continuously get rave reviews and repeat business.

Fill out the “contact us” form and send them a message or call them today at (919) 481-4914.  They’re happy to help.  


The post 8 Signs That You’ve Picked the Right Real Estate Agent appeared first on Triangle Area Real Estate.

Should you move to Willow Spring, NC?

Willow Spring is an unincorporated area in Wake, Johnston and Harnett Counties

Willow Spring, NC aka Willow Springs, NC

Fabulous fresh produce and homemade ice cream
Porters Farms and Nursery

Willow Spring Location

Willow Spring is a large unincorporated area located in the three counties of Wake, Johnston and Harnett County.  Unincorporated territory means that the area is not an official town and it is not affiliated with any other town or city.

Unincorporated areas have lower taxes since town services are not provided and do not need to be funded.  Water is handled by community utility companies, sewage is handled by individual household septic systems, trash is removed by private companies and policing is handled by the county sheriff when you live in Willow Spring.

In contrast, if you live in a city or town, you pay higher taxes to cover the salaries of a town police force as well as other government employees.  You will be billed directly for water, sewer and trash if you are a town resident.  The town is supplying these utilities to your home so they need funds to help cover expenses.

Now that you understand the type of community that Willow Spring is, let’s go on to learn how to pronounce the name and what the life is like as a resident of the community.

How do you say it?

There’s a belief that the Johnston County part of Willow Spring has an “s” added to the word “Spring,” but this is incorrect.  The correct pronunciation of the town is always the single “spring” no matter what county you are talking about.  The community is located in three different counties but it is always called Willow Spring.

This area is not as well-known as many of the more populous towns nearby, but the territory of Willow Spring covers almost 42 square miles and is almost the same size as Holly Springs which has 46 square miles of territory.

Porters Farms, (pictured above) the United States post office and Willow Spring’s Elementary are major landmarks.  Willow Spring is also the home to Stephenson’s Bar-B-Q which is a well known Bar-B-Q restaurant that has fabulous vinegar style Bar-b-Q, Brunswick stew and lots of tasty treats.

stephensons barbque willow spring
Willow Spring is the place for great barbque at Stephensons

Did you know that wine is grown in Willow Spring?  Yes, it is.  Stop by Adams Vineyards and grab a bottle of local wine and see for yourself.  They even have a tasting room so you can try before you buy.  It has a great reputation too, so undoubtedly you will be very pleased.

The Willow Spring area has been quite rural until very recently so there aren’t many other landmarks.  Great wine, excellent bar-b-que, fresh produce, beautiful homes, and farmland landscapes is enough to impress nowadays.  Willow Spring is a beautiful country style community, serene, quiet and friendly.

adams winery in winter
Adams Winery is located off highway 42 in Willow Spring, NC

Truly, this unincorporated area of Willow Spring could almost be seen as a hub linking the three counties of Wake, Johnston and Harnett.  The Willow Spring territory acts like a jigsaw puzzle piece that connects these three counties.

Willow Spring Lifestyle

Willow Spring residents benefit from lower taxes, larger lot sizes, and picturesque landscapes.  The extra five or ten-minute drive into the neighboring town to pick up groceries or go to church is well worth the trade for serenity and starry night skies.

Bloomfield Neighborhood in Wake County

Surprisingly, some Willow Spring residents have an easy commute if they work in downtown Raleigh.  From some parts of Willow Spring, the trip can be as short as twenty minutes to the Wake County Courthouse or to your tech job at Red Hat. Commutes to Western Wake Hospital in Cary are about thirty minutes.  Campbell University and the US Army base at Ft. Bragg are quick commutes too, both less than 40 minutes.  As additional roads are added these commutes are expected to be greatly improved.

The completion of Interstate 540 will positively impact the commuting times for residents of Willow Spring and the surrounding towns.  The video link provided shows how this additional loop will help give easier access to work areas throughout the region.

Triangle area population has increased by leaps and bounds and this growth has impacted life in Willow Spring too.  Many newcomers are moving to Willow Spring because they are looking for the quiet life that the area offers.  The larger yards and lower taxes because the area is unincorporated and not affiliated with any town also helps to draw newcomers.   New subdivisions are being built, and more are on the planning board.  Schools are also being built to help with increasing growth.  Some information about both schools and neighborhoods is listed below.

Willow Spring Schools

In this part of North Carolina, children attend schools that are managed by the county that the school is located in.  Willow Spring territory is located in three counties so children who live in the community will attend school in their respective county school districts.

Wake County School District

Currently, there is only one school physically located within this unincorporated area.  Willow Springs elementary school is located on the Wake County side of Willow Spring.  The school is across from the Willow Spring Post Office.

A new high school is being built at the edge of Willow Spring in the town of Fuquay-Varina, again on the Wake County side of the area.  The high school will be called Willow Spring High School and it is expected to be open by the end of 2019.

The continued growth in Wake County may affect student school assignment.  If a particular school assignment is important you will want to verify this before you move into your new home.  The Wake County School district link is a good resource for information about the educational system in Wake County.

Johnston County School District

Children who live in the Johnston County part of Willow Spring attend school in the Johnston County school district.  Like Wake County, Johnston County has seen a major increase in population so many schools are newer and school plans are always in the works.  Check out the Johnston County schools here.

Beautiful Willow Spring Farmland

Harnett County School District

Harnett County has begun to see impressive population growth too.  Children who live in the Willow Spring community that’s located within Harnett County will attend school at these Harnett County Schools.

As you can see, there’s a decision to be made about which county you want to live in when you move to Willow Spring.  Schools and services are handled by the county and the services stay within the boundaries of the county.  Wake children cannot attend Johnston County schools, and Harnett county sheriff will not police in the Wake side of Willow Spring.  Every county is responsible for their own turf.

Neighborhoods in Willow Spring, NC

When you decide which county you prefer, you’ll have an easy time finding a great home since there are good neighborhood options in all locales.   So, first things first: Do you prefer Johnston, Wake, or Harnett?

Triangle Trusted Realty Inc
Willow Spring NC by Triangle Trusted Realty Inc

Johnston County Neighborhoods

In the Johnston County side of Willow Spring, neighborhoods such as BryerstonePecan GroveSandy GroveShadow LakesSummer Ridge, and Walton Springs are some of the options which may be appealing to you.

Wake County Neighborhoods

On the Wake County side of Willow Spring, you will find great neighborhoods such as BloomfieldBlalock Forest, Honeycutt LandingKendall Hills, and Judd Reserve.

There’s always new communities popping up though, so make sure to do a full search so the hidden gem neighborhood doesn’t escape your search.  Also, please remember that Willow Spring is usually a great choice if you’re looking for a house with scenic views, lower taxes and an easygoing lifestyle. Search for your Willow Spring Home Here

Harnett County Neighborhoods

Currently, there are just a few neighborhoods with a Willow Spring address in Harnett County.  Forest Edge, Fox Hollow and Deer Haven are small communities that fit this category, but as the area continues to grow many more developments may appear in this area of Kennebec Road near the Angier border.  If new communities are built-in the area or if homes are on the market in this location then the families would be served by Harnett County services.

Find a Willow Spring Realtor

If you want to learn more about the Willow Spring area, call Christina McCaffrey with Triangle Trusted Realty.  She lives in Willow Spring and has been selling homes in the greater Triangle area since 2000.

You can reach Christina at (919) 868-4310 or email her at

Triangle Trusted Realty, Inc.
Christina McCaffrey
Christina McCaffrey, Broker, Realtor, CRS
Triangle Trusted Realty, Inc.
(919) 868-4310

The post Should you move to Willow Spring, NC? appeared first on Triangle Area Real Estate.

If you are selling in the Triangle or surrounding area, we're the experts to talk to.  Call Triangle Trusted Realty, Inc. today at (919) 481-4914 to get started.  We specialize in selling homes in Apex, Cary, Clayton, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Raleigh and Willow Spring, NC and the adjacent areas.   

According to the listing agent search firm, Homelight, we sell homes for more!  How about that?  Call us today at (919) 481-4914 and we'll send you a link to a video about what to look for when you're selling your Triangle Area home.  




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