Category Archives: Corporate

Tips For Choosing Your Real Estate Agent

tips-to-choose-real-estate-agentWhen it comes to home buying or home selling, working with 
someone you can trust is obvious. But sometimes finding reliable qualities of a real estate agent that vibe well with your buying or selling style and goals takes time and knowledge of what to look for. Whether you’re buying your first home, selling a home, or looking to invest in property, finding the right agent can make or break you.

Interview multiple agents– Agents will tell you what you want to hear. If it’s too good to be true, it very well could be so it’s important to keep your wits about you and remember to be in check with reality when finding an agent. Particularly for first-time home buyers, the home buying process can be overwhelming, complicated and intimidating. Interviewing multiple agents allows you to find the best fit with your goals who isn’t too pushy.

Ask the right questions- During the search, asking questions of potential agents will help peel the layers back and get to the core of who they are and how they’ll represent your needs. A few questions to ask are:

  • Is it their full-time job?
  • How many clients have they served in previous year(s)?
  • How many sales have they made in a neighborhood?
  • At what point are you obligated to commit to their services?
  • Do they have any references from previous deals?
  • Where does the agent live?

Set expectations right away- Whether you’re buying or selling a home, it is your life, your money, your future on the line. Be upfront about your needs and set expectations right away. If your needs are not being met, continue the search until they are.

Knowledge of the marketplace– Agents should have an extensive knowledge about a community, a housing market and neighborhoods where they work. Typically, if an agent works and lives in the same area, chances are they’ll have good knowledge of the community.

Experience in the industry– If you are a buyer, you want to protect your interests by working with a Buyers Agent. Likewise, if you’re interested in selling your home, you want an experienced agent who will represent you and secure the most qualified buyer at the best profit. Agents should be working in the community starting or closing deals. When they’re not working on deals, they should be hungry for the next while cultivating working relationships in the community. Therefore, good agents spend very little time at their desk. When you find an agent, make sure they have closed a deal before and ask for information on their selling background.

Responsiveness- The home buying and selling process can take time, but that shouldn’t mean you’re waiting around for answers to your questions. Your agent should be timely in their responses during business hours and should be reachable on email, phone or text. Lingering or procrastinating can result in missed opportunities for you.

Marketing and online representation- What is an agent’s marketing reach in the area? This is particularly important for home sellers. Over 90% of all home buyers use the Internet as a resource for making their buying decisions (Source: NAR). Because of this it’s imperative that your next agent has a strong grasp and reach with online marketing.

There are many ways to research a potential agent, from search engines and their online presence to speaking with references and former clients. The ability to find an experienced, knowledgeable agent who cares about you and your goals requires a little leg work but is just at your fingertips. At the end of the day finding a good agent to guide you through the buying or selling process is finding someone you can trust and who is committed to your goals.

These are just a few things to consider when you are researching a real estate agent for buying or selling your home. With over 50 years of combined experience along with engagement in the community where we work, Eillu’s team of experts is ready to assist you in selling your home or finding the perfect property for your family to enjoy!


25 Reasons Why I Love Living On the Outer Banks

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Jan, our controller here at Eillu, shares why she loves the Outer Banks and has made this special place her home.

1. The beach. Really, does that require any further explanation?!

2. Amazing sunsets and sunrises. Local social media is abuzz with pictures daily of the always magical sunrises. You’d think we’re obsessed. And maybe you’ll understand why when you experience an Outer Banks sunrise over the Atlantic or a sunset over the sound.

3. The Wright Brothers National Memorial. I remember a jingle from a North Carolina tourism campaign when I was growing up, “…face to face with history…” it’s never truer than here on the Outer Banks.

4. Lighthouses. These are not only fun to climb and see amazing vistas, but they are still used as navigational aids today. If you are fortunate to be staying in a cottage where the light shines in your room at night, please do not call the police department and ask if they can be turned off!

5. The Lost Colony and Waterside Theater. Old Tom and Agona from this performance have always been some of my favorite characters. Although it is entertainment for the whole family, warn the kiddies, the show portrays some realistic looking fighting. But it’s ok, they’re professionals. Did you know the late Andy Griffith acted in this very drama here in Manteo early in his career?

6. The Elizabethan Gardens. Enjoy the formal English gardens, Elizabethan-gardenstatuary, sculptures, native plants and giant live oaks. Along with nearby sound side views, they even sell some of the plants to grow in your own garden.

7. Roanoke Island Festival Park -The Elizabeth II. With costumed interpreters to answer questions, explore a faithful replica of the ships the colonists sailed to the New World. Bet you cannot stump them with a question of the time-period. They even speak with an Elizabethan brogue.

8. The Settlement Site at Roanoke Island Festival Park- Here’s a place where you can experience a taste of life in the 16th Century, play Elizabethan games or try on period armor.

9. American Indian Town in Roanoke Island Festival Park- complete with a replica of a typical Coastal Algonquian native longhouse and dance circle. Experience a taste of how the original Outer Banks locals lived!

10. The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island- Meet my fishy friends that I help care for every Tuesday. Did you know that a Sheepshead (black & white striped fish that hang out around pier pilings) are actually very sociable to us humans as well as to one another? I was blown away to learn that! Fish recognize us as individuals and some like to play with us. This summer the aquarium will also have live-action dinosaurs lurking in the woods…be very careful.

11. Watersports-R-Us- Any sport you can imagine that involves water is available here on the Outer Banks. Swimming, surfing, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, kite boarding, SUP riding, snorkeling, SCUBA and much more. Whether you’re a veteran to a sport or want to try something for the first time, this is the place for you.

12. The Fall- I almost want to keep this secret to myself and so am hesitant to list it! The fishermen have known how fabulous the fall is on the Outer Banks for hundreds of years. The ocean is still warm enough to swim. There are plenty of beautiful sunny days and there are less crowds.

13. Restaurants. Even big-city dwellers who have almost unlimited dining options are amazed with the almost countless number of restaurants from quick eats to fine dining experiences. We may be small, but our restaurant selections rival anywhere!

14. Maritime forest and nature trails. No lions, tigers or bears to be concerned about here! There are trails all over but be sure to visit the Nature Conservatory at Nags Head Woods for some of the best trails around.

15. Bird watching. Our area is a stopover for some on their migration route, and permanent residence for others, with approximately 400 species of birds. Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge located just over Oregon Inlet on Hatteras Island is a must-visit for the birders, and anyone who enjoys unspoiled nature spots!

16. Wild Horses. We are very fortunate to have wild Colonial Spanish mustang ponies left by explores over 500 years ago roaming the northern Outer Banks. If you decide to seek them out, remember, they are wild so keep your distance and keep your camera ready.

17. Fishing. Whether surf, pier, deep sea, bridge or boat fishing on the sound, the Outer Banks is a world class fishing destination. Personally, I prefer that you release any Sheepshead you may catch, see #7 above, they may be relatives of my aquarium fish friends.

18. Climbing Jockey’s Ridge. This has been a family pastime since I was a child when my brothers, sister, and I would hike over to the dune with our fiberglass bread tray. We’d slide down the sand hills for hours, sometimes running down with giant strides or rolling down. Hint: do not shout for joy while doing this unless you are partial to a mouth full of sand. Stay for the sunset and a beautiful panoramic view from the top.

19. Walks on the beach. Take your dog with you and life doesn’t get much better than a relaxing walk along the shoreline.why-i-love-outer-banks-sunset

20. Breathing the salt air. When I have been away for a few days, returning to the smell of the salt air lets me know I am where I am supposed to be.

21. Art Galleries. We have a lively community full of very gifted artists. Treat yourself to the best from your visit with a one-of-a-kind handcrafted piece of local art work.

22. Community events and festivals. You name it we probably have it. From the Dare Day Festival, seafood, music, arts, wine, kite flying to the Festival of Trees, fully decorated amazing Christmas trees that are auctioned off to benefit the Outer Banks Hotline. There’s always something happening on the weekends to keep active.

23. Beach combing. This age old favorite pastime is a chance for you to find your own gifts from the sea such as shells and beach glass or even shark teeth.

24. Make your own beach glass jewelry. There are a number of places that teach you the basic art in just a few hours. Bring your own found treasures our use theirs.

25. The plaque at my aunt’s Outer Banks retreat home really says it all, “If you are lucky enough to be at the beach, you are lucky enough!”

Whether you’re visiting on vacation or you’re interested in purchasing an investment property that doubles as a vacation getaway, the Outer Banks is a beautiful place that keep people coming back for decades and stuck here on purpose.


Home Seller’s Checklist for Spring Buyers

home-sellers-checklist-for-spring-buyersSpring has arrived and temperatures are continually increasing, meaning it’s that time of year to start your DIY projects. This time of year is even more important to homeowners looking to put their home on the market just in time for the high buying season. Prepping your home to bring the potential buyer interest is one of the most important things sellers can do. Use these DIY tips to get your home in tip top shape to sell quickly!

Prep Your Landscape

Many home buyers are interested before they even enter the door of a home. If you are looking to sell your home quickly, it is a wise investment in time to prepare your front yard. Simply taking a weekend to trim the hedges and plant some inexpensive flowers can help your home show better. Clean the gutter and cut back any tree limbs that may be reaching the home. These weekend projects can bring more attention to your home for drive-by buyers and improve online images of your home.

Paint Your Interior Neutral Colors

Although you may enjoy a bright or funky colored room, other buyers may not. Consider painting rooms neutral tones to make each space feel as large as possible. Brighter and darker colors can make a room feel smaller than it actually is and many buyers may not agree that the color chosen was appealing. Buyers see repainting as an additional labor and upfront cost. Taking time to proactively paint the interior can minimize the time your home spends on the market.

New Home Photography

Spring means new blooms and brighter landscaping. Take the time to invest in new home photos that maximize the appeal of your outdoor spaces and show off the greenery of your property. Having high-resolution images of your home can help buyers searching online see the true beauty of your home and may increase interest in queries from online searches.

The Ultimate Spring Cleaning

If your goal is to sell your home by summer, hiring a cleaning team may be a great option for sellers. Having a cleaner deep clean rugs, carpets, floors and bathrooms can give your home that fresh and clean feel that buyers are looking for in their new home. This can help your home show better, while also making your move out process that much easier.

Schedule Open Houses

Work with your realtor to utilize the great weather and schedule your upcoming open houses. Having these scheduled in advance can help you and your realtor be ready to market and set the home for success. Nothing sells a home quicker than having potential buyers in your home. Having these checklist items completed before your open house can set up your property for success.

These are just a few items to use to prepare your home to sell quickly and at fair market price. Ready to put your home on the market? Contact EIllu’s expert team at sales@eillu.com and begin the selling process today!

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Outer Banks Real Estate: Be Aware of These 5 Fees

obx-real-estate-feesBuying your first home can be extremely exciting, but the buying process can be a new frontier for some. Understanding and being prepared for the costs of a purchasing a home can help improve your experience and not be a big shock to your wallet. Special conditions may also arise when purchasing Outer Banks real estate and other tourist destinations. Learn more about these buying costs and be on top of your real estate purchase process!

  • Earnest Money: This down payment proves that you are truly committed to purchasing the property in question. This payment averages around 1-2 percent of the total purchase price, but can be more or less depending on market trends. These earnest amounts may be more when purchasing in specific areas. For example, Corolla real estate is a high-demand area and may garner a higher earnest price.
  • Origination Fees: This is the cost you pay to the loan officer or broker for processing the entirety of your loan. These fees are usually minimal averaging around 1% of your total purchase cost. This is a question you should ask when shopping for real estate companies and mortgage lenders.
  • Appraisal: Nearly all lenders require the potential homeowner to attain an appraisal of the fair market value of the home. Lenders will not give money freely for a home that is below fair market value. This ensures that your home is a sound investment for their company and will make the borrowing process easier. Appraisals run between $200-$400 dollars on average.
  • Home Inspection: If the seller does not provide a home inspection, it will be extremely beneficial for the buyer to purchase a home inspection. Having an inspection brings to light any issues your home may have and will list all repairs that need to be completed. Inspections usually cover the entirety of the home, including structural issues, flooding probability, codes not followed and more.
  • Insurance Fees: Although this is technically not a requirement during your actual purchase process, buyers should be aware of upcoming insurance costs post-purchase. These fees will be a yearly item for homeowners and depending on the area you live in, can be costly. If you live in an area considering hazard prone, your insurance fees may be higher and extra insurance policies like flood insurance may be required.

Being prepared for upcoming fees and payments when purchasing a new home is a great way to be proactive in your buying process and will make the entire experience quicker and easier on you and your family. Ready to start looking for a home today? Contact our team at Eillu at sales@eillu.com and find your dream home!

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Tips to Improve the Home Curb Appeal

tips-improve-curb-appealWhen buying or selling a home, first impressions mean everything. The curb appeal of the home is the first thing the potential buyer sees in person and can therefore change their perception of the home overall. Updating and maintaining the curb appeal of the home can be the difference in the final sales price and length of time the home is on the market. Use these great tips to improve your curb appeal to increase positive experiences in the viewing of your home and to potentially improve the final sales price.

Wash Your Windows on the Outside:  You never realize how much debris accumulates on the outside of the window until you wipe the windows down. This will improve the clarity of the windows.

Power Wash the House: Remove the film from the exterior of your home. It will improve the color on vinyl siding and make a brick home look brand new.

Repaint Shutters: If your shutters have peeling paint or have not be maintained, putting a fresh coat of paint on them can give the entire home a cleaner look.

Mow the Lawn: You may not be living at the home, but having your lawn trimmed regularly will improve curb appeal.  You never know when a potential buyer may drive by. Trim back hedges and remove any fallen branches when needed.

Purchase Inexpensive, Colorful Plants: Fresh plants can bring that extra pop of color to the exterior of the home and can be found at most hardware stores at a relatively low price. Bright colored flowers can bring a warm and inviting touch to your walkway or front porch.

Move Garbage Cans Out of Sight: Garbage is garbage and no one wants to see it. Move cans to the side of the home and out of sight from the road to make the front seem as visually appealing as possible. It is also recommended that you remove all other miscellaneous items from the front yard, including kids’ toys and any side projects.

Check for Missing Shingles: You may not pay too much attention to your roof, but a buyer is likely to notice miniscule details you would normally overlook about your home.  If you are missing a shingle or two on the roof it is recommended you go ahead and replace them.

Clean the Gutters: Remove any debris from the gutters such as leaves and pine needles so they will function properly and the run-off can flow as it should.

Trim Tree Limbs Near the Roof: Tree limbs that are close to the roof can become a safety hazard, especially in the case of a storm. Remove any limbs that hang over or too near your home.

Add or Repaint Home Numbers: How are potential buyers to know that yes, this is the home I saw online for sale? Easy to read house numbers will make it easier for a passer-by to notice and pick out the home.

Add Driveway and Porch Lighting: If a potential buyer drives by at night, you want them to be able to see the front of the home. Add lighting to illuminate the positives of the front of the house and to create an attractive ambiance as they drive by.

Use these tips to make your home look its best. Buyers will appreciate the effort and will enter your home on a positive note!


Benefits of Purchasing a Home Warranty

benefits-home-warrantyPurchasing a home warranty is recommended for most home purchases, especially with preexisting homes. Many buy homes expecting them to be move-in ready with no issues. When issues do arise, the new homeowner may feel the seller is obligated to pay for the repair or that they were misinformed about the condition of the home or appliance. These issues can be prevented with the purchase of a home warranty by the buyer or seller.

What Is a Home Warranty?

A home warranty is an insurance policy that can be purchased by either the buyer or the seller, which covers different types of issues with appliances in the home, including repairs and replacement of broken items. Home warranties often cover heating systems, water heaters, stove ranges, dishwashers, garbage disposals, electrical wiring, and small appliances like microwaves. Some warranties even extend to air conditioners, dryers, washing machines, pools and water pumps. On average, a home warranty can be purchased for $350-$1000 per year depending on the extent of the coverage.

Why Purchase a Warranty?

Sellers:

  • Having a home warranty included in the purchase of a home can bring more prospective buyers to your property because the buyers know that any appliance issues will be covered.
  • If something does break in the home, you will not have to worry about the final buyer asking for you to pay for the repair or replacement of the appliance. This transfers any obligation to repair or replace from the hands of the seller to the insurance company.
  • If your home has old appliances, it is more than likely cheaper to purchase a home warranty than all new appliances to make the home more appealing. The buyer can be informed about the home warranty and this can help them see past the older appliances.
  • Warranties only need to be purchased once the home is sold. This means you can use money from the home closing to purchase the home warranty.

Buyers:

  • After purchasing a home, buyers have often used all of their spare savings in the purchase and they are not planning for the expense of broken appliances. A home warranty can take the extra financial pressure of potential appliance issues away from the buyer.
  • Many sellers already include a home warranty within the home sale as an incentive. If there is not a home warranty included, you can ask for the seller to include that in the home price to ensure your purchase.

These are just a few reasons why you should include a home warranty in the sale or purchase of your home. Have questions regarding home warranties? Contact our experts at Eillu to learn more.


Benefits of a Home Inspection for Buyers

buyersPurchasing a new home can be a very exciting but stressful time for all involved. Finding the perfect home that meets the wants and needs of you and your family is top priority. With that said, finding any issues with the home should be a primary concern as well. Purchasing a home is a great commitment; knowing and understanding your investment can be easily reached by including a home inspection in the contract or purchasing a home inspection for the home. Not sure why this home inspection is so important? Here are some of the benefits of having a home inspection for your next home purchase.

Determine Safety Issues

Purchasing a new home is a large investment, often for decades to come. Before finalizing this purchase you will want to know that the home is safe from any issues such as incorrectly wired electrical systems, lead in the home, or other regulated issues. Knowing this information before closing allows you to the option to renegotiate to have the issues fixed or to lower the purchasing cost. No owner wants to find these issues ten to twenty years down the road when a home inspection could have provided you this information up front.

Checks for Water Intrusion and Construction Issues

Home inspections do not just check for visible issues, the inspector will check under the home and within walls for issues such as water intrusion or structural damage as well. This often cannot be seen from the naked eye, but these issues are extremely serious and need to be known before purchasing the home. Water damage can cause mold problems in walls and diminish the foundation structure. Both can be very dangerous and be very expensive to alleviate.

Checks for HVAC Issues

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning are important to the comfort of your home, especially if you live in warmer or colder climates. Having an HVAC system that cools and heats properly and delivers this air throughout the home is critical to home comfort. If there are issues with these items they can be brought to the attention of the realtor and owner and some type of compensation can be discussed.

Can Bring to Broker to Prove the Home is a Good Investment

If you are in the process of attaining the purchasing amount for the home, a home inspection can be brought to your broker as proof of the sound investment the home will make.  This added confidence may help ensure the broker and bank that providing the purchasing cost for the home to you is a sound investment for their business.

Inspection Report Can Benefit Home Insurance Coverage

If the home has a “clean bill of health” the insurance company will not have to consider pre-existing issues with the home.  If the home is currently up to code for the area, this often drops the insurance price dramatically. For example, if you are purchasing a home on the Outer Banks, a home that has been lifted on pilings to the designated height for the area will be less of a risk for insurance companies than a home at ground level will.

Home Inspections can provide you the peace of mind you deserve while keeping money in your pocket in the long run. For more information on home inspections, contact Eillu at 252-491-9999.


Yes, You Can Expect More With Eillu!