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Selling a house

Full-service plan with a discount commission (2%)

Our full-service plan carries a seller's agent commission of only 2% of the sold price (buyer's agent commission at 2.5% or 3% as the seller prefers). For land or commercial properties, our seller's agent commission is 3% rather than 5% as charged by most companies. We provide all the services most realtors provide plus some new and useful services, including:

  • Provide reliable information about real estate laws, real estate market, public policies, and other matters affecting your interests.
  • Perform a Comparative Market Analysis and provide you with competent advice regarding an appropriate list price.
  • Assemble and ascertain pertinent facts related to the property. Accurately gather all information about the listed property that is necessary to effectively market the property, and to comply with legal requirements for disclosure.
  • Provide useful tips on how to prepare your house for sale for a maximal price with minimal cost and effort.
  • List your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and on,,, and hundreds of thousands of other web sites. Any one in the world can find and see your property listing on the web.
  • Supply a lockbox to facilitate realtors to quickly show your house to more potential buyers.
  • Register, design and host your house's own web site with its distinct and easy-to-remember domain name (, virtual tour, and aerial photos of the property. The web site can be transferred as a valuable to the new owner.
  • Advertise your house with color picture in Real Estate Weekly, the official publication of the Western North Carolina Realtor's Association, a magazine that is free and widely distributed in WNC and is also viewable on the web.
  • Advertise your house in local newspapers.
  • Place a high-visibility for sale street sign on your property.
  • Create and supply high quality flyers with photos.
  • Host advertised Open House for you.
  • Mail and email your listing to BuncombeRealty's database of qualified and interested buyers.
  • Screen potential buyers to allow only qualified and serious potential buyers to view your house.
  • Coordinate showing your home with other local real estate agents.
  • Promptly inform you of any feedbacks from agents and potential buyers who view your house and provide you with other information that is important in selling your house.
  • Receive and promptly present all offers to you and provide competent advice regarding desirability of offers as it relates to the market.
  • Help negotiate the best price and the best possible terms for you.
  • Receive and hold buyer's earnest money.
  • Ensure that any inspections and re-inspections are accomplished under the time frame called for in the contract.
  • Help negotiate any repairs requested by buyer after inspection.
  • Follow up with buyer's lender to make sure financing is flowing smoothly.
  • Coordinate with closing attorney to make sure the property is closed on time.

How can we do all these and have a significantly lower commission rate? We do not need to pay any franchise fee and are not burden by any bureaucratic company policy, rule or tradition. We are very flexible and eager to meet today’s home sellers' needs. We are technologically advanced and have significantly higher productivity than the traditional realtors.

Make an Advanced Property Search to estimate the market value of your house

Sell you property with a lease option

If you wish to sell your property at a higher price than its current fair market value, you may wish to consider a lease option. Here is an example of how it works: suppose your house has a current fair market value of $110,000, it can generally be rented at 1/160 of the property price, that is, $700/month. You can have a lease option with a tenant, granting the tenant the option to buy it within 2 years at a price of $120,000. The tenant puts down a rent security deposit as he or she normally would for any rental (~one month rent), plus a non-refundable purchase option fee (~another month rent). You get a rent income of $800/month and credit $100/month to the tenant as down payment if he or she actually purchases of the property.

- guaranteed appreciation, even if area prices decline
- higher than the fair market rent
- on-time rent payments 'guaranteed' (if late, tenant pays late fees and foregoes rent credit for the month)
- no more petty maintenance calls or expenses
- less wear and tear, because the tenant has pride of ownership and interest
- full tax write-offs as an investor
- do not ever need to market the property for sale down the road
- we guarantee to remarket the property for you if the tenant does not purchase it and find a new optionee
- you have the option to hire our professionals to market and manage the property for you (commission is 10% rent received)

Using a lease option will make your property more attractive to many more people who may not have enough down payment or adequate financial situations to purchase your property immediately. If you are interested in this win-win situation, please let us help market your property. Our service fee is the tenant's purchase option fee (=one month rent) plus 2% of the sold price if the tenant actually completes the purchase.

Tips on how to prepare your house for sell or lease

De-personalize the House

When a potential homebuyer sees your family photos hanging on the wall, it puts your own brand on the home and may shatter their illusions about owning the house. Therefore, put away family photos, sports trophies, collectible items, knick-knacks, and souvenirs. Put them in a box. Rent a storage area for a few months and put the box in the storage unit.

Do not just put the box in the attic, basement, garage or a closet. Part of preparing a house for sale is to remove "clutter," and that is the next step in preparing your house for sale.

Removing Clutter, Though You May Not Think of it as Clutter

This is the hardest thing for most people to do because they are emotionally attached to everything in the house. After years of living in the same home, clutter collects in such a way that may not be evident to the homeowner. However, it does affect the way buyers see the home, even if you do not realize it. Clutter collects on shelves, counter tops, drawers, closets, garages, attics, and basements.
Take a step back and pretend you are a buyer. Let a friend help point out areas of clutter, as long as you can accept their views without getting defensive. Let your agent help you, too.

Kitchen Clutter
The kitchen is a good place to start removing clutter, because it is an easy place to start. First, get everything off the counters. Everything. Even the toaster. Put the toaster in a cabinet and take it out when you use it. Find a place where you can store everything in cabinets and drawers. Of course, you may notice that you do not have cabinet space to put everything. Clean them out. The dishes, pots and pans that rarely get used? Put them in a box and put that box in storage, too. You see, homebuyers may open all your cabinets and drawers, especially in the kitchen. They want to be sure there is enough room for their "stuff." If your kitchen cabinets, pantries, and drawers look jammed full, it sends a negative message to the buyer and does not promote an image of plentiful storage space. The best way to do that is to have as much "empty space" as possible.

For that reason, if you have a "junk drawer," get rid of the junk. If you have a rarely used crock pot, put it in storage. Do this with every cabinet and drawer. Create open space.

If you have a large amount of foodstuffs crammed into the shelves or pantry, begin using them – especially canned goods. Canned goods are heavy and you do not want to be lugging them to a new house, anyway – or paying a mover to do so. Let what you have on the shelves determine your menus and use up as much as you can.

Beneath the sink is very critical, too. Make sure the area beneath the sink is as empty as possible, removing all extra cleaning supplies. You should scrub the area down as well, and determine if there are any tell-tale signs of water leaks that may cause a homebuyer to hesitate in buying your home.

Closet Clutter
Closets are great for accumulating clutter, though you may not think of it as clutter. We are talking about extra clothes and shoes – things you rarely wear but cannot bear to be without. Do without these items for a couple of months by putting them in a box, because these items can make your closets look "crammed full." Sometimes there are shoeboxes full of "stuff" or other accumulated personal items, too.

Furniture Clutter
Many people have too much furniture in certain rooms – not too much for your own personal living needs – but too much to give the vision of space that a homebuyer would like to see. You may want to tour some builders’ models to see how they place furniture in the model homes. Observe how they place furniture in the models so you get some ideas on what to remove and what to leave in your house.

Storage Area Clutter
Basements, garages, attics, and sheds accumulate not only clutter, but junk. These areas should be as empty as possible so that buyers can imagine what they would do with the space. Remove anything that is not essential and take it to the storage area. Or have a garage sale.

Fixing Up the House Interior

Plumbing and Fixtures
All of your sink fixtures should look shiny and new. If this cannot be accomplished by cleaning, buy new ones where needed. If you do not buy something fancy, this can be accomplished inexpensively and they are fairly easy to install. Make sure all the hot and cold water knobs are easy to turn and that the faucets do not leak. If they do, replace the washers. It is not difficult at all.

Check to make sure you have good water pressure and that there are no stains on any of the porcelain. If you have a difficult stain to remove, one trick is to hire a cleaning crew to go through and clean your home on a one-time basis. They are wonderful at making stains go away.

Ceilings, Walls and Painting
Check all the ceilings for water stains. Sometimes old leaks leave stains, even after you have repaired the leak. Of course, if you do have a leak, you will have to get it repaired, whether it is a plumbing problem or the roof leaks.

You should do the same for walls, looking for not only stains, but also areas where dirt has accumulated and you just may not have noticed. Plus, you may have an outdated color scheme.

Painting can be your best investment when selling your home. It is not a very expensive operation and often you can do it yourself. Do not choose colors based on your own preferences, but based on what would appeal to the widest possible number of buyers. You should almost always choose an off-white color because white helps your rooms appear bright and spacious.

Carpet and Flooring
Unless your carpet appears old and worn, or it is definitely an outdated style or color, you probably should do nothing more than hire a good carpet cleaner. If you do choose to replace it, do so with something inexpensive in a fairly neutral color.

Repair or replace broken floor tiles, but do not spend a lot of money on anything. Remember, you are not fixing up the place for yourself. You want to move. Your goal is simply to have as few negative impressions upon those who may want to purchase your property.

Windows and Doors
Check all of your windows to make sure they open and close easily. If not, a spray of WD40 often helps. Make sure there are no cracked or broken windowpanes. If there are, replace them before you begin showing your home.

Do the same things with the doors – make sure they open and close properly, without creaking. If they do, a shot of WD40 on the hinges usually makes the creak go away. Be sure the doorknobs turn easily, and that they are cleaned and polished to look sharp. As buyers go from room to room, someone opens each door and you want to do everything necessary to create a positive impression.

Odor Control
For those who smoke, you might want to minimize smoking indoors while trying to sell your home. You could also purchase an ozone spray that helps to remove odors without creating a masking odor.

Pets of all kinds create odors that you may have become used to, but are immediately noticeable to those with more finely tuned olfactory senses. For those with cats, be sure to empty kitty litter boxes daily. There are also products that you can sprinkle in a layer below the kitty litter that helps to control odor. For those with dogs, keep the dog outdoors as much as possible. You might also try sprinkling carpet freshener on the carpet on a periodic basis.

Costs of Repairs
Do not do anything expensive, such as remodeling. If possible, use savings to pay for any repairs and improvements – do not go charging up credit cards or obtaining new loans. Remember that part of selling a house is also preparing to buy your next home. You do not want to do anything that will affect your credit scores or hurt your ability to qualify for your next mortgage.

Fixing Up Outside the House

Most real estate advice tells you to work on the outside of the house first, but unless there is a major project involved, we believe it is best to do it last. There are two main reasons for this. First, the first steps in preparing the interior of the house are easier. They also help develop the proper mind set required for selling - beginning to think of your "home" as a marketable commodity. Second, the exterior is the most important. A homebuyer’s first impression is based on his or her view of the house from the real estate agent’s car.

So take a walk across the street and take a good look at your house. Look at nearby houses, too, and see how your house compares.

Is your landscaping at least average for the neighborhood? If it is not, buy a few bushes and plant them. Do not put in trees. Mature trees are expensive, and you will not get back your investment. Also, immature trees do not really add much to the appearance value of the home.

If you have an area for flowers, buy mature colorful flowers and plant them. They add a splash of vibrancy and color, creating a favorable first impression. Do not buy bulbs or seeds and plant them. They will not mature fast enough to create the desired effect and you certainly do not want a patch of brown earth for homebuyers to view.

Your lawn should be evenly cut, freshly edged, well watered, and free of brown spots. If there are problems with your lawn, you should probably take care of them before working on the inside of your home. This is because certain areas may need re-soding, and you want to give it a chance to grow so that re-sod areas are not immediately apparent. Plus, you might want to give fertilizer enough time to be effective.

Always rake up loose leaves and grass cuttings.

House Exterior
The big decision is whether to paint or not to paint. When you look at your house from across the street, does it look tired and faded? If so, a paint job may be in order. It is often a very good investment and really spruces up the appearance of a house, adding dollars to offers from potential homebuyers.

When choosing a color, it should not be something garish and unusual, but a color that fits well in your neighborhood. Of course, the color also depends on the style of your house, too. For some reason, different shades of yellow seem to illicit the best response in homebuyers, whether it is in the trim or the basic color of the house.

As for the roof, if you know your house has an old leaky roof, replace it. If you do not replace a leaky roof, you are going to have to disclose it and the buyer will want a new roof, anyway. Otherwise, wait and see what the home inspector says. Why spend money unnecessarily?

The Back Yard
The back yard should be tidy. For those that have dogs, be sure to constantly keep the area clear of "debris." If you have swing sets or anything elaborate for your kids, it probably makes more sense to remove them than to leave them in place. They take up room, and the prospective homebuyers may not need or like them. Furthermore, you want your back yard to appear as spacious as possible, especially in newer homes where the yards are not as large.

The Front Door & Entryway
The front door should be especially sharp, since it is the entryway into the house. Polish the door fixture so it gleams. If the door needs refinishing or repainting, make sure to get that done.

If you have a cute little plaque or shingle with your family name on it, remove it. Even if it is just on the mailbox. You can always put it up again once you move. Get a new plush door mat, too. This is something else you can take with you once you move.

Make sure the lock works easily and the key fits properly. When a homebuyer comes to visit your home, the agent uses the key from the lock box to unlock the door. If there is trouble working the lock while everyone else stands around twiddling their thumbs, this sends a negative first impression to prospective homebuyers.

Remember: any negative impression or problem seen will cause the prospective homebuyers to extrapolate that there are many more problems if they have a thorough examination. You simply should try your best not to let them have anything to extrapolate.

Buncombe Realty, 1104 Hendersonville Rd., Asheville, NC 28803 (view location map)
Phone (828)301-2021   Toll-free 888-932-8001   Fax (828)277-1240

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