By Claude Cross

How can you tell whether it’s a buyers’ or sellers’ market? This is a great question. When you have more buyers than homes, it becomes a sellers market.

It’s the best scenario a home seller can be in; it promises good home appreciation, a quick selling time on market and possibly offers that exceed listing prices and the best case scenario-multiple offers. That was a few years ago.

Now, it is officially a buyers market. This is when you have more homes to sell than buyers to buy. A buyer’s best scenario begins with lots of home to choose from, low interest rates, and sellers willing to negotiate to get the deal done. If you’re looking to make a real estate purchase, now is the great time to buy.

Be careful with your purchase. One mistake buyers make is choosing a home that is too large or too small for their needs or a fixer upper when they are unable to fix it up. Another mistake is when it comes to location; make sure to select a house in a good area, in a good neighborhood and on a good lot. If a builder gives you a discount because the yard is bad, remember, you’ll have to give that discount back to the next buyer of you will not get it sold. That is not really a deal. It’s a sale.

As for homes that are a handyman’s dream. There are plenty of houses in great locations in Charlotte that are in need of minor repairs, a little love. These can be great investments or the worst investment of your life.


Make sure to take a good walk through the property and see if it worthy to for you to buy. Check under the hood. Once you go under contract make sure to hire a qualified home inspector to make sure the home won’t cost you a fortune getting it in shape.

If you are not qualified to fix items or deal with major expenses, find a home that needs more help in the way of its cosmetic issues. Your time will be better spent painting, making minor repairs and enhancing the landscaping.

Make sure you do not overpay for a home. Don’t think that a real estate agent representing you would cost you money. Typically the buyer agent’s fees will cost the seller money, not the buyer. It will cost you far more money not to use a real estate agent. You may choose poorly, overpay for the home, or get stuck with a money pit.

As far as foreclosures go, they continue to be a main stay in the Charlotte real estate market. But, according to a survey by (May 2010), fewer buyers are interested in foreclosed properties than they were a year ago. Almost all of the home owners said they expect to pay less for a foreclosure, and just over a third of them said they would expect it to be 50 percent off. Good luck with that.

Foreclosures are marked low to get a bidding war going on. If the home is in a good location, and is in decent condition, offering half off just wastes time. You will lose the property and someone who has done their homework and has a seasoned Realtor working for them, wins the deal.

Other factors for you to consider, will be your home insurance needs, how much the taxes will cost you and an idea of how much the monthly utilities and any home owner association fees will be. Without those numbers, you may be getting in over your head.

The last piece of cautionary advice is to not be in a rush to close. Get all your inspections and financing in order and give yourself enough time to work through any glitches that may arise.

First things first, though. Contact your Realtor, then a lender, and then start your house hunting search. It is not hard when you do things in the right order.

About the Author: Claude Cross is Broker/Owner of Homes by Cross, serving Charlotte real estate needs since 1994. Please visit us here to learn more about

Charlotte Homes for Sale

. Or, go here, for additional information specific to

Ballantyne Homes for Sale

. And if you’d like to step out a bit further, check out the information for

Waxhaw Homes for Sale



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