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News About Joann Samelko

Expanded NC Territory

Happy to Announce that I have recently joined the Cape Fear Realtors Association and the North Carolina Regional Multiple Listing Service (NCRMLS). The NCRMLS covers 41 counties.


I have been working with buyers and sellers in the Triangle area of NC since 2002 and plan to continue in The Triangle as a member of the Raleigh Regional Association of Realtors and the Triangle MLS. The Triangle MLS covers 16 counties.


What this announcement means is that I and have decided to extend my territory and business to the South and East of the Triangle.


When we first moved to North Carolina we lived in Southern Pines in Moore County and I continue to have a love for that area of North Carolina. I still enjoy spending time there and would love to represent sellers and buyers in the Sandhills. My friends and neighbors from Moore County can count on me to help them with their real estate needs.


For other friends and clients that have talked about having a second home, investment property or retiring at the beach I can now help you find that special place at the beach.


Want to learn more _ give me a call 919-616-2555

Pre-Approval Makes All the Difference When Buying a Home

You may have been told that it’s important to get pre-approved at the beginning of the homebuying process, but what does that really mean, and why is it so important? Especially in today’s market, with rising home prices and high buyer competition, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your budget so you stand out to sellers as a serious homebuyer.

Being intentional and competitive are musts when buying a home right now. Pre-approval from a lender is the only way to know your true price range and how much money you can borrow for your loan. Just as important, being able to present a pre-approval letter shows sellers you’re a qualified buyer, something that can really help you land your dream home in an ultra-competitive market.

With limited housing inventory, there are many more buyers active in the market than there are sellers, and that’s creating some serious competition. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes are receiving an average of 5.1 offers for sellers to consider. As a result, bidding wars are more and more common. Pre-approval gives you an advantage if you get into a multiple-offer scenario, and these days, it’s likely you will. When a seller knows you’re qualified to buy the home, you’re in a better position to potentially win the bidding war.

Freddie Mac explains:

By having a pre-approval letter from your lender, you’re telling the seller that you’re a serious buyer, and you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage by your lender for a specific dollar amount. In a true bidding war, your offer will likely get dropped if you don’t already have one.

Every step you can take to gain an advantage as a buyer is crucial when today’s market is constantly changing. Interest rates are low, prices are going up, and lending institutions are regularly updating their standards. You’re going to need guidance to navigate these waters, so it’s important to have a team of professionals such as a loan officer and a trusted real estate agent making sure you take the right steps and can show your qualifications as a buyer when you find a home to purchase.

Bottom Line

In a competitive market with low inventory, a pre-approval letter is a game-changing piece of the homebuying process. Not only does being pre-approved bring clarity to your homebuying budget, but it shows sellers how serious you are about purchasing a home.

5 Facts that Drive a Successful Home Sale

Selling your home can be surprisingly time-consuming and emotionally challenging. Strangers come in, poke around, critique your home, and then offer less than you think it’s worth – if anything at all.

Below are five tips for getting the highest possible price for your home within a reasonable timeframe:

1. Kick emotions to the curb

When selling your home, it’s best to see yourself as a businessperson rather than as a homeowner. Looking at the transaction from a purely financial perspective helps detach from the emotional aspects of selling your home.

2. Hire the best agent

A great agent will help set the right price for your home, strategically market your home and also play middleman, negotiator and problem solver. In addition, he/she will handle the enormous amounts of paperwork and pitfalls involved in real estate transactions – ensuring a smooth, stress-free experience for you.

3. Price it right

But be open to negotiation. Smart buyers will negotiate and, if you want to complete the sale, you may have to play this game. It’s a good idea to list your home at a price that attracts buyers, while still leaving room for negotiation.

4. Make photos a priority

More than 85% of buyers start their home search online these days. Having multiple, crisp, clear photos – preferably taken by a professional – that showcase the entire house both inside and out will set your listing above the rest and help generate interest. An expert agent will be on top of this and ensure you have the right photos to highlight your home.

5. Primp and stage

If you don’t clean, stage and declutter your home, you’re leaving money on the table. Have a friend or allow your expert agent with a fresh pair of eyes point out areas that need work in case you’re too familiar to “see” the trouble spots. Decluttering, adding a fresh coat of paint, eliminating odors and pumping up the curb appeal make a great first impression.

Few sales – if any – follow the perfect script. However, taking note of these five tips will go a long way toward helping you achieve the seamless, lucrative transaction every home seller hopes for.