Charlotte NC Real Estate Blog by Jimmy Grappone, Realtor

Tips For Buying & Selling a House in Today's Market


I’ve lived in Waxhaw and been part of the local community here for more than five years and I have watched it grow by leaps and bounds. We have great schools, safe neighborhoods, and a thriving Main Street area in historic downtown, which has really put this area on the map.

The appeal of Waxhaw and its proximity to south Charlotte, Ballantyne, Indian Land, and Fort Mill, along with the influx of people moving to the Charlotte area has contributed to the growth and the competitive housing market here.

Selling in Today’s Market

Today’s sellers need to make their house as visually appealing and move-in ready as possible, because today’s buyers know exactly what they want thanks to 24/7 access to home improvement shows on cable and with apps like Pinterest and Houzz. The problem is most buyers have no clue how to update a home, so they end up going the new construction route which is more expensive, but easier than updating a home themselves. 


Selling Your Resale House vs. New Construction in an HGTV World

Everywhere you go, HGTV & DIY shows are on our screens. From doctor’s office televisions to our tablets and smartphones, it’s pretty hard to escape Chip & Joanna, Tarek & Christina, and our other favorite home improvement stars.

Shows like Fixer Upper, House Hunters, Flip or Flop, and countless others are seemingly ubiquitous and they are shaping the modern house hunter’s — and home owner’s — taste.

While more folks’ taste is inspired by what they see on TV and online apps like Pinterest and Houzz, many of today’s buyers, especially millennials, have limited skills to enable them to do the work they see from Chip & Jo and so many others.

These buyers know what they like, and they know it when they see it, but most don’t know how to make it a reality.

So, as someone selling your five, ten, or twenty-plus-year-old home that doesn’t have white or gray cabinets, quartz kitchen counters, a walk-in frameless shower and everyone’s favorite, shiplap, incorporated into your home design, how do you compete against new construction homes that have the features and finishes home buyers are looking for?


Top Five Reason Not To FSBO

Thinking of selling your home on your own in order to save a few bucks? Unless you are a licensed real estate agent, you may want to think again.

I recently came across an article by real estate blogger, Keeping Current Matters, in which they listed their top five reasons to not FSBO – For Sale By Owner.

KCM‘s top five reasons for not selling a home without the aid of a licensed professional agent are:

1. Online Strategy for Prospective Purchasers
2. Results Come from the Internet
3. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With
4. FSBOing Has Become Increasingly Difficult
5. You Net More Money When Using an Agent

Recent studies by NAR – National Association of REALTORS – reveal that 95% of home buyers search for a home online. Gone are...

Finding My Purpose In Real Estate

Finding My Purpose In Real Estate

Happy clients and first time homeowners, Tara & Adam.

You may have read Simon Sinek’s book, Start With Why, or at least you’ve listened to his TED Talk.

The premise behind starting with the question, “Why...

Prepping Your Home For Perfect Pictures

This home for sale at 16313 Reynolds Drive in Indian Land, SC makes a great first impression.

If you are selling your house in this day and age, potential home buyers have already seen pictures of every square inch of your house on real estate websites like, and

If they are working with a real estate agent, they have seen those images on MLS, as well.

After price and location, a listing’s pictures are the next thing to get a potential buyer’s attention.  In fact, the first two items are what get them to look at your house in the first place, but Internet – and Instagram – worthy pictures are what drive potential buyers from looking at your house online to looking at it in person.

Here are five tips to make your home picture perfect for the professional photographer your real estate agent hired to to take pictures of your home – because cell phones and point and shoot cameras just don’t cut it....

Mortgage Interest Rates At Nearly Two Year Low

Mortgage interest rates are as low as they have been in the past two years.

According to, the prevailing interest rate on June 13, 2019, was 3.97% for a conventional 30-year fixed mortgage.

I recently spoke with Movement Bank loan officer, Michael Curtis, and asked him what this means to him from a refinancing perspective, a renter’s perspective, and the perspective of a homeowner considering making a move in 2019. 

Michael Curtis, movement bankJimmy: If you are a current homeowner, under what circumstances should you consider refinancing?

Michael: In the current market it is a great time to refinance as rates have hit a two year low.  The potential to save hundreds of dollars in interest in your total monthly payment in addition to savings in the tens of thousands over the life of the loan is an opportunity that is here now.

J: If you are a renter, why is now a great time to buy from a financial standpoint?

M: When renting, 100% of all your rent payment goes to someone else.  When you purchase a home it’s what I like to call a...

Top Tips for Selling a House with Pets

A recent Zillow study stated that 60% of home sellers own pets with nearly half of all sellers owning dogs, a third of home sellers owning cats, and about 12% owning other animals.

I’d be willing to bet that number is even higher in the Carolinas in general and in the Charlotte area in particular.  We Carolinians love our fur-babies!

I’ve sold several houses where the owners had dogs – not nearly as many cat owners – and I’ve shown countless properties with pets at home during showings, as well.

The question was recently posed to me by clients with a small dog who are planning to sell their home soon.  When it’s time to sell your house, what do you do with Fifi and Fido?

Go For a Ride Together

If possible, the first and best option is to remove all evidence of your pets inside the house before showings.  Of course, it isn’t always easy – or possible – but I certainly recommend removing your dog from the house before showings.

If you are at home and can put your pets in the car with you, take a ride or visit the park for an hour or two during showings.

If you have a pet friendly neighbor, consider asking them if you can bring your dog over – or at least put him in their backyard – during a showing.

Another great option is to board your dog during showings.  Top Honors Pet Care in Waxhaw is only $10 per day and you can book a stay for your pet if you know you have a showing scheduled.

If you can’t remove them from the house, consider putting them in a crate.  Just know that if your dog is a barker, she is going to be a distraction to the people touring your home!


Home Improvement Ideas To Relieve Stress and Anxiety at Home

Playing games at home with family and friends can lead to greater peace and inner calm.

I’ll let you in on a little secret.  I get stressed out sometimes.  Admit it, you do, too!

Most of us worry about work, our families, money, and a million other things, you name it!  Whatever sets you off, stress and anxiety are real issues and they are not fun to deal with.

I am a big proponent of seeking out help and taking care of yourself – through therapy, meditation, exercise, a healthy diet, sleeping, praying, writing, or however you best handle stress.

PSA: If you are experiencing anxiety that goes beyond just feeling a bit of stress now and then, please get help. There are plenty of resources available to you right here in Waxhaw.

As a REALTOR, I get to make people very happy at the end of what can be a stressful situation when they are buying and/or selling a home. My motto is Real Estate. Made Simple., and I strive to make the experience as enjoyable and stress free as possible.

My clients are typically excited about moving into their new homes, but what if your home isn’t new to you anymore and it doesn’t contribute to your joy?

Here are five home improvement ideas from to help turn your home from a stress producer to a stress reducer.

  • Build a home theater – It could be a basement remodel or a complete living room makeover. Watching TV is still one of the most common ways to de-stress at home. But with the new smart TVs, you can also surf the internet on your TV or watch movies online.
  • ...

5 Things Home Sellers Always Forget

When selling a house, homeowners often follow a ‘checklist’ of sorts to make sure that everything is spic-span to help in wooing potential home buyers. Landscaping, repainting, remodeling kitchens and bathrooms — anything and everything that might sway a buyer’s opinion.

However, in these situations, many homeowners forget important factors in the selling process. From small flaws in the home’s aesthetic integrity to the importance of keeping real estate commissions in mind, it’s never a bad idea to give a home one last check-up before opening the doors to visitors. In case you’re not sure where to start, here’s the 5 most common things that homeowners miss as they head into the viewing and selling process.

  1. Know what the buyers will pay. Where appraisers can make their estimates, the person with the money is going to be the final decision in how much a home is worth. If you have a home buyer in mind, try to appeal to them as much as possible, and remember that sometimes, small aesthetic fixes like new cabinets may leave a better impression than replaced windows.
  2. Try to keep things fresh. Believe it or not, smells are one of the first things we remember, and factor for the largest portion of our opinions and memories. If the home smells clean and fresh, guests are more likely to remember it in a positive light. Likewise, if it smells musty or harsh with cleaning solutions, they may have less than fond memories. Find problem areas and eliminate odors,...