Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

April 24, 2020

What's Due Diligence and Earnest Money?

Due Diligence and Earnest Money in North Carolina

When an offer to purchase a home is made, there are two important dates and checks that will accompany the offer:

DATE #1 Due Diligence: This is the time frame in which the buyer does all of their investigations concerning the property, including home inspections and loan processing. During this time the buyer may cancel the contract for any or no reason at all. Again, a buyer may cancel at anytime for any reason during the due diligence period. The cancellation does not have to pertain to an inspection, loan, appraisal, or other obvious problem. A more competitive offer may have a very short or no due diligence period. If you know you'll have a lot of inspections to complete and in turn a lot of repairs, due diligence will be around 4 weeks.

DATE #2 Closing Day: Everything in North Carolina contracts are negotiable including the closing date. Usually we will see closing happening shortly after the due diligence period ends, about a week or two, since all inspections and potential repairs are complete the path to closing is clear. Closing is always negotiable and can create a more competitive offer the shorter amount of time until closing.

Now, the money talk...

There are two checks you'll talk about with your agent as well. In the Triangle area of North Carolina you will see  typical numbers laid out below.

CHECK #1 Due Diligence: Depending on competition and other offer components, this will range anywhere from $500 - $2,000 (maybe more in a highly competitive situation). This check is made out to the sellers and is essentially the amount of money the seller is being paid to take their home off the market. Since the buyer will typically ask about 4 weeks for the due diligence period in the contract, that is four weeks the seller is locked in but the buyer can walk away for any reason at all. If the buyer decides to walk before the due diligence period is over, the seller gets to keep the due diligence money. If the contract goes all the way to closing, the due diligence money is credited back to the buyer as part of the down payment.

CHECK #2 Earnest Money: In this market, the earnest money deposit floats around about 1% of the purchase price. Earnest money is held in an escrow account until closing and is used as a way to "put your money where your mouth is" to show how serious you are about the purchase. Earnest money exists on a spectrum, some sellers will put a lot of emphasis on it and others may not care too much about it because their focus is more on due diligence. If a buyer backs out of the contract during the due diligence period they will receive their earnest money check back. 

The only way a buyer can lose both the due diligence AND earnest money is if the contract is cancelled after the due diligence period. That’s considered a breach of contract, and the buyer would receive neither of those deposits back.

When you’re interviewing prospective Realtors, talk to them about the due diligence process and what it means for you, because it’s different when looked at through a buyer’s eyes and a seller’s eyes.

March 16, 2020

Working From Home

Helpful Tips Working From Home

ONE Keep your morning "commute" routine. It can be hard not to hit the snooze button every day, but keeping your routine will help your mind and body realize it’s time for work. If you no longer have a 45 minute commute, spend time going on a morning walk, making a satisfying breakfast, catch up with family, or read the news! 

TWO Keep a routine for the kids too. Keeping a routine for the kids is equally as important. Their lives are being turned upside down too and they’ll need direction on how to have some “normalcy”.

THREE Create a separate work space that is only used for work. Your vanity table, coffee table, living room couch, kitchen counter — whatever your work space, this now becomes ONLY a work space, don’t use this space for relaxation. 

FOUR Have a barrier between work space and home space. Whether it’s a door or headphones creating sound or physical barriers is important to keeping focus and letting others know you’re working. 

FIVE Video is better than phone call is better than email. Take time to say “hi” to people over video chat. This will make you feel less like chat rooms have taken over the world. It’s nice to see another face from time to time. 

SIX Leave the chores for after work hours like you normally would. Doing laundry in the middle of the day inevitably leads to folding it while watching AN episode and before you know it you’ve finished season one and two of The Office. 

SEVEN Leave your hoe work space at lease once per day. This has varied degrees of possibility right now, but the point is to say you should take your typical breaks and leave your workspace during that break. 

EIGHT Keep your conversations with your significant others on the same cadence. If you don’t typically talk to your significant other during the day, keep chat to a minimum. If you text each other 10 times an hour, keep doing that even if you’re in the same room. You don’t want constant exposure or the loss of a routine to effect your personal relationships.

NINE Show your strengths! Last BUT NOT least! If you have been dying for the chance to work from home part-time or full-time USE THIS OPPORTUNITY to show your boss what you're capable of! Show them you have motivation and dedication to make it work long term. This is the best non-negotiated trial run you could ask for.

Posted in General Posts
Feb. 20, 2020

Square Footage

What's the living area criteria?

Living Area Square Footage

When buying or selling a home make sure it is professionally measured📏✏️. This sunroom is absolutely beautiful (I’d for sure spend all of my chill time here!) though it won’t be included in the square footage of the main living area of the home. Why not?? Because of the portable heater you see in the corner. This sunroom still adds value to a home, it’s just assessed and will be marketed differently. The inclusion or exclusion of a space like this in the square footage of a home could have huge impacts on sale and resale. Depending on if a room meets the criteria, it could mean a gain or loss of hundreds of square feet.

In order for a space to be included in the square footage of the main living area, it will need to meet 3 criteria...

1.) Heated by conventional heating systems - forced air, radiator, solar, etc. - which are permanently installed in the home. (So, the space above doesn’t count because it’s heated by an electric portable heater). *Air conditioning is not a factor*

2.) The walls, ceilings, and floors must be finished with a ceiling height of at least 7ft (there are exceptions to this but it’s complicated, so we’ll just use this general rule of 7ft). Unfinished, walk-up attics or unfinished basements would not meet this criteria check box, though there’s great potential to add square footage in the future.

3.) The space needs to be directly accessible from other living space through a door, stairway, or heated hallway. (For example: A fully finished and conventionally heated apartment above a detached garage which is not accessible from the living space in the main home would not be included. It still has great value as a second living space, it just isn’t added to the main living area. 👍(This information is valid in NC. Check with a local real estate professional for your regulations.)

Feb. 1, 2020

Spot the Difference

Contingent Pending Active

When you or your agent search for properties on our website or the many online platforms you will see categories of listings. We're here to help you understand what each of these categories means. 


Properties which are not yet officially on the market but are expected to be listed in the next 2-3 weeks. You will be able to see limited information about these properties in this stage.


These properties are current listings on the market available for sale. The sellers may have received offers already, though none have been accepted. You will be able to see details about the property that were not available in the coming soon phase. The opportunity is wide open for you to make an offer!


An offer for the property has been accepted by the seller but is reliant on meeting contract provisions. If those provisions aren't met, the deal could fall through. If all goes well, the contract will advance to the pending phase. It is always worth asking your agent to still inquire about contingent properties because they are still considered active listings since there is potential for the contract to terminate. 

Frequently Seen Contingencies 

Financial: A seller may include an opt out contingency if the buyer cannot get a loan approval

Appraisal: Buyers may request a lower price if an appraisal is less than the offer price

Title: Parties may opt out if a title search on the property reveals unforeseen ownership conflicts

Inspection: A buyer may request to opt out or receive compensation or repairs based on the home inspection report


An offer has been made and accepted by the seller. In this case the contingencies have been met or waived by the seller and the property is no longer considered active. the contract will remain in the pending phase until the legal closing of the property.

Can I make an offer on a Contingent or Pending property?

Yes! It is crucial to know you make an offer on a property at any phase of the process and this is where we can help you figure out the most current information on properties to negotiate the best deals. A listing agent is obligated to present ALL offers to the seller, even in the contingent and pending phases. Speak with one of our agents to help you formulate the most irresistible offer. 



Jan. 1, 2020

Curious About Local Real Estate?

Local Market Stats

Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates