Thursday, May 31, 2018

What's the Scoop with Rising Home Interest Rates?

Here's an intriguing take on the current rise in Home Interest Rates.

Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have climbed from 3.95% in the first week of January up to 4.61% last week, which marks a 7-year high according to Freddie Mac. The current pace of acceleration has been fueled by many factors.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, had this to say:

“Healthy consumer spending and higher commodity prices spooked bond markets and led to higher mortgage rates over the past week.
Not only are buyers facing higher borrowing costs, gas prices are currently at four-year highs just as we enter the important peak home sales season.”
But what do gas prices have to do with interest rates?

Investopedia explains the relationship like this:

“The price of oil and inflation are often seen as being connected in a cause-and-effect relationship. As oil prices move up or down, inflation follows in the same direction.”

You may have noticed that filling your gas tank has become substantially more expensive in recent months. The average national gas price has climbed nearly $0.50 from the beginning of the year, leading to the highest price for Memorial Day weekend since 2014.

As rates go up, your purchasing power goes down, but don’t worry; rates are still well below the averages we’ve seen over the last four decades. 

“Freddie Mac said this year’s higher rates have not yet caused much of a ripple in the strong demand levels for buying a home seen in most markets, but inflationary pressures and the prospect of rates approaching 5 percent could begin to hit the psyche of some prospective buyers.”

Buying sooner rather than later will help lock in a lower rate than waiting, as the experts believe rates will continue to climb. Even a small increase in interest rates can have a big impact on your monthly housing cost.

To Sum Up:

If you are planning on buying a home this year, keep an eye on gas prices the next time you’re at the pump. If you start to feel a big jump in price, know that rates are probably on their way up, too.  Or, better yet, call me.  I have all the contacts, tools and info you need to making buying or selling your home easy.

Elizabeth Scott, Realtor®, Broker
Diamond Award – High Sales Volume
e-PRO, Strategic Pricing Specialist
Fathom Realty NC, LLC       
Phone: 919.306.9699

Monday, April 23, 2018

How Much Does it Cost to Paint My House?

I get asked this question a lot as folks want to spruce their homes up either for their own enjoyment or for sale.

Painting your home, both inside and out, improves its curb appeal, character and resale value.  Painting is one of the quickest and easiest ways to give your home a face-lift.  And, it yields some of the best results as well.

Choosing the paint can be daunting.  Colors finishes, stains, maintenance, etc.  I have some great resources that can help you with this decision.  In the meantime, let's talk price.

Source:  HomeAdvisor

Want to know the value of your home, or prices in a neighborhood you like?  Contact me!  I have all the accurate information you need to make the Smart Choice.

Elizabeth Scott
The Smart Realtor

Monday, April 2, 2018

Realtor - Agent: What's the Difference and Why Does it Matter?

Recently, I was asked what the difference is between a Real Estate Agent and a Realtor and a Broker.

Here’s the answer and why it is important for you to know this.

  • Real estate agent: Anyone who earns a real estate license can be called a real estate agent, whether that license is as a sales professional, an associate broker or a broker. State requirements vary, but in all states you must take a minimum number of classes and pass a test to earn your license.
  • REALTOR®: A real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, which means that he or she must uphold the standards of the association and its code of ethics.
  • Real estate broker: A person who has taken education beyond the agent level as required by state laws and has passed a broker’s license exam. A Broker is a Realtor with more experience and knowledge.  Brokers can work alone or they can hire agents to work for them.

Legal and Ethical Obligations of a Realtor / Broker

A Real Estate Broker is a Fiduciary.  So…What the heck is that??  A fiduciary manages another party's assets and has a legal and ethical obligation to put the other party's interests first. For a Real Estate Broker, this means helping clients make decisions that are in his/her best interest.  Even if it means reduced compensation – or no compensation – for the Realtor

A Broker must abide by a strict Code of Ethics.  This includes:

  • Realtors protect and promote their clients' interests while treating all parties honestly.
  • Realtors refrain from exaggeration, misrepresentation, or concealment of pertinent facts related to property or transactions.
  • Realtors cooperate with other real estate professionals to advance their clients' best interests.
·       Realtors make sure that contract details are spelled out in writing and that parties receive copies.  This is not the job of the attorney here in NC as it may be in other states.

  • Realtors give equal professional service to all clients and customers irrespective of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, or sexual orientation.
  • Realtors paint a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations.
Experience and education
Real estate brokers not only have higher education requirements than real estate salespersons, they also must have experience working as an agent. For example, in North Caroline the license requirements are as follows:

  • Realtors in other states take 60 hours of classes and pass an exam with both state and national sections.
  • Brokers must take 180 hours of broker-specific classes and pass an exam with both state and national sections.  These classes cover contract law, fiduciary responsibilities, ethics and all the minute details that are required.
Buying or selling a home is the single most complex, important and expensive investment you will ever make.  Why go it alone?  I am a professional Realtor and a Broker.  Contact me for all the info you need for a smooth and successful transaction.  


Elizabeth Scott, Realtor®, Broker
Diamond Award – High Sales Volume
e-PRO, Strategic Pricing Specialist
Fathom Realty NC, LLC       
Phone: 919.306.9699