Here’s how the numbers look February 2017 vs. February 2018 in the Triangle Real Estate Market
February 2017 closed sales
2250  closed sales, 57 average days on market, average list price $273,945 average sale price $269,845
February 2018 closed sales
2249  closed sales, 30 average days on market, average list price $293,208 average sale price $289,171
Do you know someone who might want to sell, buy or lease residential real estate?  We can help: call or email us. Our phone number is 919-493-7633 and email is Michael@TeamMichaelSullivan.com

via 4607 Carlton Crossing Dr. offered at $339,900

4607 Carlton Crossing Dr. Durham, NC 27713 is a lovingly cared for home. There are dramatic spaces. Here you’ll find a light and bright interior with high ceilings. A split bedroom design with master suite that says wow offers great function and privacy.  Through out this home one finds fine finishes and moldings. The master suite has a trey ceiling in master and offers a nice retreat and ample space for a lounge.  This home has solar mitigating screens at back and a sun shade for deck. There is a huge unfinished attic with steps ready to use. The gourmet kitchen with built in oven and microwave plus Granite counters and lovely maple cabinets is a cook’s delight.
There is a graciously sized dining room and living room and great outdoor spaces are just steps from the breakfast area and living room. This home also offers an  office that sits at front with nice view and good light. Offered at $339,900.Care to see inside?  Call us today. 919-493-7633 or visit us at www.TeamMichaelSullivan.com 

As property managers we realize and recognize that we walk a fine line between respecting a tenants ‘home’ and right to quiet enjoyment along with our duty to protect our clients property.  One common misconception among new landlords is that the house and property is still their home. It really isn’t; the house is their property but the home belongs to the tenant.

Every four to six weeks we conduct an exterior inspection the properties that we manage and twice yearly we walk through the properties we manage.  Often what we see on the outside triggers action on our part.  If we see trash cans that have been left at the curb we notify the tenants to bring them in. If we see items stored on porches, decking or in yards we notify our tenants and demand compliance.  If we see vehicles lacking tags and plates we notify and demand compliance.  These routine pop by visits also help us keep a handle on who is living in our properties and if they are abiding by our policies and procedures.  We keep an eye out for pets and the tell tail signs that pets leave.

Kitty cats and dogs will often give up a non-compliant owner. Cats sit in windows, dogs bark and leave certain ‘evidence’ that they’ve been in a yard.  People will also give them selves away.  We do not permit smoking or vaping in any of our properties and often smokers will toss cigarette butts in the yard or on the driveway.  All of these actions trigger an inside visit to the home.

Our twice yearly walk through tours in the first and third quarters ensure that the home will be cleaned at least twice a year- hopefully. These face to face meetings with our tenants also allow us to listen to their concerns and voice our concerns to them.  It is often during these visits that we remind tenants that air conditioning filters should be changed every thirty days and that gardens and yards should be kept tidy.

Finally, we’ve noticed a very interesting phenomena with respect to tenant behavior just ahead of our walk through visits.  We’ve noticed that tenants submit many more repair request through our on line property management portal in the ten days preceding our visit to their home. Something about our visit triggers them to request items that may have slipped off their radar screen.  As cumbersome as having additional tasks on our to do list is; the benefit is that small, nagging items can be fixed before they become larger problems and I can live with that.


Owning Rental Home and Managing Expectations

This article will be the first in a series of articles that illustrate a variety of items that should be considered when leasing residential rental homes.

It can be very un-nerving owning a rental home.  There are countless variables to consider. It is beneficial for owners to approach their rental home and the process with clear eyes.

When meeting with new clients who are thinking about renting out their primary residence or purchasing rental property I often ask those clients about their thresholds for risk.  Early on I attempt to set expectations.  I find it helpful to enlighten about past experiences and pit falls.

The first consideration is that tenants, even the best of tenants will not take care of or maintain a property like an owner does.  Tenants can be careless with safe guarding walls and paint. Tenants will seldom remove their shoes when walking on wall to wall carpet and tenants will often send stuff down a garbage disposal that has no business going down the drain; and thus, rendering the appliance and drain hopelessly clogged.

Rental owners should consider painting every five or so years, depending on wear and re-carpeting every five to seven years depending on the quality of their floor coverings and the make up of the rental household.  When at all possible tenants should be prohibited by lease from painting or changing wall colors.  If permitted to paint then tenants should be held to professional standards.  The more people in residence including pets and children the greater the wear and tear on the house.  Often hardwood floors don’t fare much better than carpet so sometimes a man-made laminate is the best choice when prepping for tenants.

Owners should also spend some thoughtful time evaluating the exterior of their rental property. Tenants by their nature, typically will not spend the time, effort or energy keeping the yard trimmed and the flower beds tidy. Therefore, exterior spaces should be made as low maintenance as possible.  Additionally, structural characteristics like leaf guards on gutters and slow growing shrubbery should be considered. An owner on a wooded lot or with trees near their home will need to have their gutters cleaned at least twice a year and if the trees are long needle pine; more often.

Many owners ask if they should invest in a home warranty in an effort to prepare for system or appliance failure.  My response is generally dependent on the owner’s capital recourses.  If a cash war chest, or lack thereof is an issue, then a warranty might be a good idea.  However, the owner or their manager if they hire one, will be best advised to warn tenants that items needing repair will be at the mercy of the home warranty company’s time line, which is often much more protracted than calling ad hoc vendors.  Tenants might just have to exercise patience; which in our day and age is a scarce commodity.  For example, I can often have my plumber, HVAC contractor or electrician on site in less than twenty-four hours. Home warranty companies generally can’t attain this kind of quick turn-around.

Here are the take away points;

  • Carpet will need replacement every five or so years.
  • Walls will need repainting every five or so years.
  • Yards should be made as low maintenance as possible
  • Home warranties might be a necessary purchase if a cash war chest is lacking
  • Be prepared to clean gutters 2 or 3 times per year.

Here’s how the numbers shape up January 2017 vs. January 2018 in the Triangle Real Estate Market:

January 2017 closed sales

2114  closed sales, 54 average days on market, average list price $268,487 average sale price $264,393

January 2018 closed sales 2080 closed sales, 31 average days on market, average list price $288,691 average sale price $310,882

The value of a dollar  

Just sold home

What you should do once a month


Nope, not ‘that’ house.


Property management

Is there a rental home in your neighborhood which stands out like a sore thumb? Most of us have at least one that drives us a bit nuts.  At MLSullivan™ we strive not to be responsible for “that” house.  Our philosophy at MLSullivan™ is that we are the eyes, ears and boots on the ground for our landlord clients.  While keeping that philosophy top of mind we offer several value-added services which we believe differentiate us from our competition.  We promise to our clients that we will:

  • Conduct an intensive exterior inspection of all our managed properties every four to six weeks
    • Our exterior inspection includes photos, a written report and a reporting to our landlord clients.
  • Conduct an interior inspection of all our managed properties twice per year in the first and third quarters.
    • We inspect each room from top to bottom verifying care of the property and cleanliness.
    • Our interior inspection includes photos, a written report and a reporting to our landlord clients.
  • Verify after each vendor-initiated repair that those repairs will be completed to the highest standards.
    • When possible and feasible we will photo document, vendor-initiated repair work and load those photos into our cloud-based property management software system.
  • Inspect thoroughly each rental home between tenants. This inspection will include but is not limited to; opening all windows, running all appliances, checking plugs and wall switches, inspect attics and crawl spaces. We will photo document and journal each inspection and then provide a detailed accounting to our landlord clients through submission to our cloud-based property management software system.
  • Ensure that each rental home is professionally cleaned prior to a new tenant moving in.
  • Ensure that all light bulbs work when a new tenant moves in.
  • Ensure that all lawns are trimmed, porches, decks and garages are swept prior to a new tenant move in.
  • Ensure that when needed shrubs are trimmed and gutters cleaned to preserve the aesthetic appeal of our managed properties.

If you or someone you know is looking for an experienced, conscientious, professional property manager in Durham, Wake or Orange County, North Carolina call us. We’d be happy to discuss our suite of property management solutions. Our telephone number at MLSullivan™ is 919-493-7633

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