The Top Home Buying Mistakes to Avoid: Learn from the Experts’ Experience

Published on March 24, 2023 by Smith Marketing

Buying a home is an exciting – and sometimes stressful – process. Given the amount of money on the line, this is not a decision that you want to get wrong. While there are a few mistakes that you could make along the way, learning from expert advice will help you steer clear of trouble and wind up with a house that you can love for years to come.


If you are shopping in Grandover Greensboro, which offers some of the best luxury homes Greensboro has to offer, Smith Marketing would make the ideal partner for your house search. Of course, Smith Marketing would be happy to serve you when looking elsewhere around the area as well, so reach out today to get started.

Ignoring Location

t’s been said so many times that it’s a cliché, but it’s repeated that often because it’s true – real estate is all about location, location, location. Simply put, you want to think first about where you want to live, and then you want to find a house in that area that suits your needs. The only thing you aren’t going to be able to change about a house after you move in is where it is located.

Many home buyers make the mistake of falling in love with a particular house and they wind up overlooking the location as a result. In the long run, you are going to care more about where the house is than anything else, so make that the primary focus of your search. Sure, you still need to find a house that you like and that fits your lifestyle, but it all starts with location.

Overlooking the Financial Component

This is a big transaction, and you don’t want to go into it casually in terms of financing. You should start working on the financial piece of the puzzle before you even think about shopping for houses in person. Nailing down exactly how much you can afford by working directly with a lender will give you much more confidence once you get out and start exploring some active listings.

Being Too Particular

The perfect house doesn’t exist. It’s easy to build up a fantasy in your mind about the ideal home that is in great condition and has every last feature you desire, but it’s unlikely that that place is on the market and ready for you to move in.

Don’t get hung up on looking for perfection. Make a list of the things that you want to find in a home, and compare the properties on the market to see which ones get the closest to hitting the mark on every point. If your list is long, it’s unlikely to find a home that checks off every box, but with a little bit of patience and perspective, you should be able to find a house that you’ll love living in for years to come that has almost everything you wanted.

REALTOR vs Real Estate Agent

Published on February 27, 2023 by Smith Marketing

When it comes to buying or selling real estate, you may have come across the terms “REALTOR” and “real estate agent.” While these terms are often used interchangeably, they do have distinct differences.

In short, all REALTORS are real estate agents, but not all real estate agents are REALTORS. This is because REALTORS are members of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR), which is a professional organization that sets ethical and professional standards for its members.

So, what are some of the key differences between a REALTOR and a real estate agent?

Membership in a Professional Organization
As mentioned, the most significant difference between a REALTOR and a real estate agent is membership in a professional organization. A real estate agent may hold a license to sell real estate in their state or region, but they are not necessarily bound by a code of ethics or professional standards beyond what is required by law.

In contrast, REALTORS are bound by the NAR Code of Ethics, which sets forth ethical standards and guidelines for behavior in areas such as advertising, representation, and client confidentiality.

Use of the Term “REALTOR”
Only those who are members of the NAR can use the term “REALTOR” to describe themselves. This means that if you see someone advertising themselves as a REALTOR, you can be sure that they are a member of the NAR and bound by its Code of Ethics.

Additional Training and Education
While both real estate agents and REALTORS must meet the licensing requirements set by their state or region, REALTORS may also choose to pursue additional training and education through the NAR. This can include courses in areas such as property management, real estate finance, and real estate law.

Networking Opportunities
REALTORS may have access to a wider network of professionals in the real estate industry, including other REALTORS, appraisers, lenders, and attorneys. This can be beneficial when it comes to finding properties, marketing listings, and navigating complex transactions.

Marketing and Advertising
REALTORS may have access to additional marketing and advertising resources through the NAR. This can include access to professional photography, virtual tours, and social media marketing tools.

Reputation and Credibility
Being a member of the NAR and adhering to its Code of Ethics can help to build a REALTOR’s reputation and credibility in the industry. This can be especially important in competitive markets where clients are looking for someone they can trust to represent their interests.

Advocacy and Political Involvement
The NAR is involved in advocating for policies and legislation that support the real estate industry and homeownership. As a member of the NAR, a REALTOR may have the opportunity to be involved in these advocacy efforts and have a say in shaping the future of the industry.

So, Which One Should You Choose?

When it comes to choosing between a real estate agent and a REALTOR, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Ultimately, the most important factor is finding someone who is knowledgeable, experienced, and trustworthy.

If you are considering working with a real estate agent, be sure to ask about their licensing and qualifications, as well as their experience in your local market. If you are specifically looking for someone who is bound by a code of ethics and professional standards, you may want to consider working with a REALTOR.

Ultimately, the key is to do your research and choose someone who you feel confident can help you achieve your real estate goals.

In conclusion, while REALTORS and real estate agents have many similarities, the key difference lies in their membership in a professional organization and adherence to a code of ethics and professional standards. By understanding these differences, you can make an informed decision when choosing someone  to represent you in your real estate transaction. Whether you choose a real estate agent or a REALTOR, it’s important to work with someone who has the experience, knowledge, and expertise to help you navigate the often complex world of real estate.

Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that not all real estate transactions are the same. Depending on the type of property you are buying or selling, as well as your unique needs and circumstances, you may require a specific type of expertise or experience. For example, if you are buying or selling a luxury home, you may want to work with a REALTOR who specializes in high-end properties.

The most important thing is to find someone who you feel comfortable working with and who has your best interests in mind. Whether you choose a real estate agent or a Greensboro REALTOR, be sure to ask plenty of questions, do your research, and choose someone who you trust to guide you through the process.

Understanding Real Estate Cycles

Published on January 12, 2023 by Smith Marketing

The dynamics of the real estate market can be hard to understand. Like all markets, real estate is unpredictable and changes in market conditions can have profound impacts on the financial situations of millions of people. This article will take a closer look at cycles in the real estate market and what they mean for your buying and selling decisions.

Whether you are looking for luxury homes in Greensboro or are at the stage to seek out a starter home, working with Smith Marketing is your best bet. As Allen Tate Greensboro Realtors, the team at Smith Marketing is fully qualified to serve you.

Four Distinct Categories

By the definition of the word “cycle”, we can already understand a little bit about this topic. Something that is cyclical moves through various repeating steps or stages, and the pattern of that movement tends to happen over and over again. While real estate doesn’t operate as an entirely authentic cycle, in that it isn’t perfectly repeatable, there are four cycle stages that are generally identified by economists that study markets that can be identified and monitored.

  • During this phase, measures of vacancy are declining and little new construction is taking place
  • This part of the cycle will see vacancy still declining but new construction taking place, as well
  • Here, vacancy is going up, and yet construction isn’t slowing down
  • Those new construction projects arrive on the market and vacancy goes up even further

While it can be helpful to monitor market conditions to see what phase is currently taking place, it can be hard – or nearly impossible – to figure out how long one phase is going to last before another takes hold.

Countless Variables

Much of the difficulty in terms of evaluating the cycle of the real estate market comes down to how many variables influence the behavior of the market. For example, interest rates have a strong impact here, with higher rates typically keeping people away from shopping for a new house. Also, the health of the economy as a whole plays an important role, since people having well-paying jobs are more likely to be able to purchase houses and other forms of real estate – meaning prices will probably rise over time.

Finding Your Place

Monitoring the cycles of the real estate market is only helpful if you are able to use this information to your advantage in some way. Different parts of the cycle present different opportunities for those who are positioned to jump into the market at just the right time. As an example, when the market is in a recession, buyers might be able to secure a great deal on a rental property to hold for the long term. Then, the cycles come back around and rents go up in the area, that property could become far more valuable than would have been indicated by the purchase price (since it was purchased in a recession when the market was down).


Thinking about making some real estate investment purchase, or just trying to decide when the time is right to buy your own home? Smith Marketing is ready to help, so get in touch today to learn more.

Factors That Influence Your Home Appraisal Value

Published on January 10, 2023 by Smith Marketing

When getting ready to sell a home, you naturally want that property to appraise for the highest possible value. This is a big opportunity to improve your ROI on your investment, especially if you have owned the property for years and have built up some equity along the way. Looking at other houses for sale will give you a starting point for how yours might be valued, by a proper appraisal is the most accurate approach.

Smith Marketing carefully tracks homes for sale in the Greensboro, Summerfield, Oakridge and surrounding Triad areas, and their expert team is standing by to help you track down a great offer to close this deal. Reach out today to learn more. 

Market Conditions

This is the best place for this discussion to start. Simply put, the prevailing market conditions in your area are going to have a huge impact on how much your property is worth. The exact same property with no changes at all could be worth $200K in one market and $250K in another, for example. The appraisal will pay close attention to present market conditions and comparable properties that have sold recently in the area.

Size and Layout

Square footage is always going to play a big role in how much your home is worth, as well. Properties within a given area will generally sell within the same price-per-square-foot range as each other, with minor changes to that price point based on various other factors. For example, if a 1,000-square-foot home is valued at $200,000 in your area, a 1500-square-foot home may be valued at around $300,000, as that would maintain the same $200/square-foot price (or whatever the going rate happens to be).

In addition to raw square footage, the value will be impacted by how that space is divided. How many bedrooms are included in the design? Families that need four bedrooms may automatically rule out all three-bedroom layouts, meaning there will be less competition in the three-bedroom market. If all else is the same, a house with more bedrooms will usually sell for more than one with fewer bedrooms.

Age and Condition

Unlike most other things that are sold, age is not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to a house. In fact, many buyers like the styling and charm of older homes, so the market for these types of properties can be quite strong. However, that charm will quickly fade away if the house is not in good condition and needs quite a bit of renovation work. So, the age and condition of the structure will be considered together to determine how much it is likely to be worth.

Location, Location, Location

The location will inevitably play a huge role in the homes’ value. Location not only relates to the big picture of what city and county the property is in, but also in the more narrow sense of how it is positioned within a neighborhood. For instance, a house that occupies lakefront property is going to be worth more than a house across the street that doesn’t have lake access.

Need help navigating the complicated real estate market? Turn to Smith Marketing today to get the professional guidance you desire.

What Realtors Do for Home Sellers

Published on January 5, 2023 by Smith Marketing

Selling your home is an exciting and intimidating process. There is a good chance that this sale will represent the largest amount of money you ever receive at one time in your life – so you want to be sure to get it right. Working with a licensed Realtor is one of the best ways to make that happen, and this article will highlight exactly what the best Realtors in Greensboro  have to bring to the table.

Putting Allen Tate Realtors on your side will make this a more enjoyable, and less stressful, process, so get in touch with the team today to learn more about how they can help you secure great offers for your property or help you find the next home for your family.

Determine a Value

One of the most important things to do when putting a property up for sale is to nail the listing price on the first try. It can be tricky on your own without the help of a Realtor to figure out how much to ask for your home. If you price it too low, you might wind up leaving money on the table – but overestimating the home’s value could leave you wanting for offers.

Teaming with a Realtor will make it easy to figure out how much you should ask for when the listing goes live. An active Realtor understands market conditions and will be able to use comparable sales in the recent past to establish a fair starting point for your home. That doesn’t mean you will sell the home for exactly that price, after all, but being on the mark will make strong, competitive bidding more likely.

Putting Your Best Foot Forward

You want to make sure your house is ready for “showtime” when the listing goes up and people start to check it out. Your Realtor can help you make minor changes that might improve curb appeal and other factors while helping you avoid wasted spending on things that just don’t matter much in the end. Taking that little bit of extra time and effort can go a long way in the battle for the highest possible offer.

Getting the Word Out

Even with an accurate price and nice staging, your home isn’t going to sell unless people know how to find it. A Realtor with strong connections to the local market can promote the property to other Realtors so they can tell their clients to come see it in person before it sells. You might even work with a Realtor that has a strong online presence established and can use some digital marketing techniques to make sure the house is seen by as many interested parties as possible.

Closing the Deal

Accepting an offer and finalizing the sale of your home is a stressful time. There is a lot of money on the line and the paperwork needs to be finished up correctly to get it all done. Using a Realtor like those at Smith Marketing will put your mind at ease knowing that the little details will be handled properly and the transaction will be a success.

Realtor vs Real Estate Agent

According to the National Association of Realtors website, “REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.” 

Is the Real Estate Market Going to Crash?

Published on January 3, 2023 by Smith Marketing

It seems that everyone is always trying to predict the next real estate market crash. Of course, the market has experienced crash events previously, so everyone from agents to homeowners has a vested interest in determining when the next one is coming around. Is it about to happen? Can this type of event even be predicted? The article below will explore this important topic.

If you are shopping for Greensboro real estate, reach out to Smith Marketing right away for assistance. Smith Marketing has extensive experience helping people buying and selling homes in Greensboro, and that proven track record can come to your aid for an upcoming transaction. 

The Simple Answer – Nobody Knows

No one knows accurately when, or even if, the real estate market is going to crash. If someone is telling you that the market will crash by a certain time, feel free to ignore them. It’s simply very difficult to predict such a complex market with precision. Sure, people can make guesses, and some of those guesses might wind up coming true, but that doesn’t mean that the predictor truly knew it was going to happen.

Think of it this way – if someone knew, for certain, that a real estate crash was imminent, that person would be able to become immensely wealthy by making the right investments in advance of that crash. The reason people don’t regularly become rich off of these events is because they are extremely hard to predict.

Change Your Thinking

It doesn’t really do any good to think about the possibility of a crash, as you simply won’t be able to know if it is going to happen. So, does that mean you should stay out of the real estate market entirely? Of course not. Rather than worrying so much about market conditions across the board, spend more time thinking about your personal situation and what move makes the most sense for you.

In other words, do you have the necessary down payment and income level to afford a suitable home in this market? Do you plan to stay in the same place for many years to come? If you’d like to set down roots, and your financial situation is appropriate for buying a house based on current pricing, considering home ownership is certainly worth your time.

A Long Game

Over the generations, owning a home has proven to be a reliable investment over the long term. That doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be bumps along the way. It’s entirely possible that the value of your home will go down at some point, and it will likely rise more often than it goes down. While there is never a guarantee of a positive return from any kind of investment, those who own a house for 10 or 20 years (or more) are typically quite pleased with the financial results of that decision.

Making a sound decision on a potential real estate purchase or sale comes down to thinking through your options and working with the right team. Contact Smith Marketing today to get started on this journey with an experienced real estate partner by your side.

Why Interest Rates Shouldn’t Scare You from Buying a House

Published on December 11, 2022 by Smith Marketing

For much of 2020 and 2021, the mortgage interest rates were at all-time lows. However, with inflation and many other economic factors, interest rates started to go back up to what is more typical of rates.

With the interest rates higher than they have been in the last few years, some buyers are nervous about getting into the real estate market because they think they will spend too much money in the process. However, now is still a great time to buy a home, even with higher interest rates. Some of the reasons that right now is a great time to purchase a new home, despite higher interest rates, include:

  • Buying a home is still a great investment: It is still a good decision to purchase a home, especially if you plan to be in the home for a long time. You can also deduct your interest during tax time, making it more affordable and lowering your tax bill.
  • Rates are still historically low: Yes, the rates may be higher than what buyers were paying a year ago, but they are still historically lower than what some buyers have paid over time. For example, in the 1980s, mortgage rates got to 16% at one point!
  • Hard to know what the rates will do in the future: Some buyers are waiting, hoping that the rates will go back down in the future. But it is hard to know if that will happen anytime soon. It is possible the rates will continue to go up and it may take many many years for them to come back down.
  • You can always refinance: If the rates do take a nosedive in the future and you find that you qualify for a lower rate, it is possible to refinance your mortgage. Having a good deal of equity in your home can make the refinancing a bit easier as well.

While you may be looking back at the interest rates that we saw in 2020 and 2021 and wish that you had jumped in the market at that time, now is still a great time for you to purchase a home. There is plenty of inventory, purchasing a home is a great investment, and interest rates are much lower than we have seen in many years. When you are ready to get into the market, working with the best real estate agent team in North Carolina, Smith Marketing,can help you get a great deal and find the ideal home for you and your loved ones.

There are a lot of great homes available in the Greensboro real estate market and now is a great time for you to get into the market and see what is available as a buyer. Even though interest rates have moved up, there is still a good amount of inventory and Smith Marketing of Allen Tate will help you find the best deal on your next home. Trust the best real estate team in North Carolina to help you through every step of the home buying process.

Real Estate Terminology 101

Published on November 22, 2022 by Smith Marketing

For those who don’t work in the industry, real estate terminology can be a bit overwhelming. There are many different terms used in the home buying and selling process, and it’s sometimes difficult to keep up with the jargon your agent or others involved in the transaction may use. To help you get over that hurdle, this article is going to explain some of the terminology that might come up on your journey toward selling or buying a property.

Smith Marketing is a leading real estate team in North Carolina. Whether you are looking for Greensboro real estate specifically, or homes for sale throughout the rest of the Triad, Smith Marketing is ready to serve you.

APR – Annual Percentage Rate

When taking out a mortgage to purchase a home, the APR or annual percentage rate – is one of the most important numbers to know. This is the rate of interest that you will pay on your loan per year.


Before you close a purchase, there will be an appraisal to determine the fair value of the property. An appraisal takes into account the location and condition of the property, along with the current marketing conditions.


This is when the deal comes to completion and the transfer of ownership officially occurs. There are a few steps to go through during closing before everything is signed and the money is transferred.  When the “closing” is completed the home with change hands from the buyer to the seller.


In some cases, a contingency clause will be added to a real estate deal. The most common contingency is one where a deal to buy a house is contingent on the sale of another house that the would-be buyer currently owns.

Down payment

When you take out a mortgage to buy a house, it will be necessary to put down at least some percentage of the purchase price as a down payment. While 20% is often stated as the standard down payment amount, it’s typically possible to secure a loan with a lower down payment.


Building equity is one of the primary motivations for buying a house. To determine if you have equity in your current home, and to see how much equity might be there, subtract how much you own on the home from the total current market value. As an example, if you owe $200,000 on your loan, and your property is valued at $300,000, you have $100,000 of equity.

Home inspection

When trying to buy a house, a home inspection is one of the most important parts of the process. After you have an offer accepted, a home inspection should be ordered to evaluate the condition of the home and determine if any costly repairs need to be completed.


The word mortgage is used to describe a loan that is issued to a homebuyer to complete the purchase of a property. There are plenty of different mortgage options on the market today, but a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage tends to be the most popular.


This is the status of a property that is under contract and moving toward closing – but hasn’t closed yet. If the deal falls through for any reason before it closes, the home may be placed back on the market.

Real estate agent

An industry professional licensed and qualified to assist buyers and sellers with real estate transactions. Working with an agent provides access to expertise and years of experience.


This is what is held by the owner of a property, and it serves as proof of legal ownership of that property. The title is only transferred during a real estate deal once the transaction closes and money changes hands.

What’s Going on With the Housing Market?

Published on November 15, 2022 by Smith Marketing

The housing market is constantly in flux. There is an ongoing ebb and flow between buying and selling conditions, and it can be tough to keep in the know with market conditions and rates. If you have been thinking about buying a new home or selling your existing one, but aren’t sure if market conditions are right, this article should help you sort through the noise and make a sound decision.

Getting professional help with such a big financial investment is always a wise move. As an Allen Tate team, Smith Marketing can help you explore the houses for sale in Greensboro to see if anything on the market is a good fit for you and your family and as a top real estate team in North Carolina, have the experience to help you market your home and get the most for it. 

Prices Remain Strong

Even if you don’t follow the real estate market closely, you likely know that home prices have been relatively high – and rising – throughout much of the country. This is a trend that continues to hold true, and the Greensboro area is no exception. As an example, in September 2022, the median sale price of a home in Greensboro was $263,500, which is nearly a 17% year-over-year increase. If you zoom out to look at the state of North Carolina as a whole, the picture is very similar – the median price was $346,700, representing a roughly 10% increase as compared to September 2021.

So, what does that mean for you as a potential homebuyer? While strong prices might not seem appealing, it’s important to consider what that means for the equity of a home you currently own. If you are going to be selling and then buying, your sale price will be higher than it would have been in recent years, meaning you’ll have more cash available for a down payment on your next property.

Competition May Be Softening

In addition to high prices, one of the prevailing trends in real estate recently has been the hyper-competitive nature of the market. It’s been tough to get an offer accepted, as many properties were receiving multiple offers shortly after going onto the market – and often those offers would be for more than the list price.

Looking at the data from September 2022, however, there is some indication that things are getting a little easier. Within that month, the median days on market of the homes that were sold was 24, which was one additional day as compared to 2021. That slightly longer time on the market indicates that the competition is not quite as heavy as it was, although good properties are still likely to receive plenty of attention.

The Right Help is Critical

Yes, it’s a good time to buy a home – but not without a quality real estate agent on your side. Having good help to guide you through the process, point you toward the right properties, and enable you to act quickly when you find something you like is going to make everything much easier. Reach out to Smith Marketing right away to learn how North Carolina’s top Real Estate team can help you buy or sell your home.

What’s the Difference Between a Realtor and a Real Estate Agent?

Published on November 2, 2022 by Smith Marketing

Home for sale in elon ncWhen you are getting ready to buy or sell a home – or both – you are likely going to reach out to a real estate professional for help. A qualified professional can help you understand the market, uncover opportunities, and wind up making a deal that is in your best interest. You might refer to these people casually as real estate agents or Realtors – but is there a difference? Yes, and this article will highlight the difference below.

If you would like to work with a qualified Realtor to find homes for sale in and around the Greensboro area, feel free to reach out to Smith Marketing today for assistance.

An Official Designation

To make sense of this potentially confusing topic, it will help to first look at what it means to be a real estate agent. As a real estate agent, an individual is properly licensed to assist with the process of transacting real estate in a given location. There are requirements that vary by state to obtain a valid license, including things like completing educational courses, passing an exam, and more.

So, if you are considering hiring someone to help you buy or sell real estate, looking for a real estate agent can be considered a starting point. Beyond confirming that an individual is licensed, you may also want to look into other factors like their experience serving past clients, transactions they have completed in your area, any specialties they have, and more. Finding a good partner in this process is the best thing you can do, so plenty of research is necessary.

The Title of Realtor

When someone is designated officially as a Realtor, that title indicates their membership in an organization called the National Association of Realtors. As such, Realtor is not a word that is a suitable stand-in for “real estate agent”, as they don’t mean exactly the same thing. The National Association of Realtors has registered the term Realtor as a collective membership mark, establishing their ownership of that term for professional purposes.

Before an individual can become a Realtor, it is necessary to first become a licensed real estate agent. With that bar cleared, and some additional basic qualifications met, it is then possible to pay a fee and join a real estate association that is part of the NAR. Maintaining that membership moving forward means following the standards that are established by the association.

It should also be noted that not all Realtors work in the capacity of a real estate agent. While that is certainly a common path, some who hold this title will be property managers, real estate brokers, etc. When you are looking around for someone to represent you in the market, finding a Realtor is a great sign that you are in good hands.

The Smith Marketing Difference

Choosing a Realtor in the Greensboro area is easy now that you have come across Smith Marketing. With ample experience and intimate knowledge of the local market, you’ll have everything you need to make smart buying and selling decisions.