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Automatic Email Notifications … Are the Best Way to Learn of the Best Buys for Sale in the Market which Meet Your Requirements ***

At Bottom – Read details regarding Short Sales, Foreclosures, Market Cycles & an explanation of the New 2013 Tax Assessments ***

Auto Email Notifications … Have “Positively” changed the way we do business.

They are Great for Keeping abreast of the Latest Properties Entering the Market which may Meet Your Requirements as a Purchaser, or the Latest Competition if you are a Seller. *** Setting up a Saved Search with your Specific Parameters takes me just a few minutes and so I am glad to provide this free and with no obligation. This is something I have been doing for years. It is the best way to learn of properties available meeting your requirements as soon as they enter the market.

I currently have over 500 individuals and couples receiving these auto email notifications – specific to the type of property they are interested in. Some have been receiving them for more than one year and yet to purchase. Others (like the couple who just purchased a home through me) have made contact with me and began receiving the auto emails just 30 days prior to their purchase. Visit the Testimonials Reviews to see what Past Clients are saying regarding the level of service I provided.

The following are examples of the types of Search Parameters you can specify *** Soundfront, 3BR plus, $700,000 or less *** Oceanfront, 6BR or more, 1990 or newer w/ max price $2.4M *** Oceanside 4BR or greater w/ max price $600K *** Between Highways, 3BR plus, max price $450K *** Soundside, 3BR or greater, max price $300K *** They can be made even more specific if desired … ex. requiring a certain minimum square footage. These are all examples of the types of parameters that can be inputted into the Auto Email Notification Program.

Note: The Auto Email Notification Program can be turned off by you (opt out) at any time, or you can just send me an email requesting it and it will be done. Folks have the auto emails turned off for many reasons … Client just purchased a home, Client decided to postpone purchasing, Client decided to purchase a home in a different area. Interestingly, most clients who purchase still want the auto emails to continue as they want to stay abreast of the market.

*** Just Send me an Email with the Specifics of what you are interested in receiving and I will create the Saved Search Program. It may require a few emails back and forth to get specific so you are not receiving information for properties not of interest. Then, I will Send you an initial Overview of Properties at the start which meet your Requirements, and then the Auto Emails will begin … It’s that simple! ***
Email: John@SandmanTeamOBX.com

This is perhaps the most exciting Tool available to Realtors for the benefit of their Buyer (and Seller) Clients. Simply, Auto Email Notifications are emails sent direct to the Client (Buyer or Seller) Direct from our Multiple Listing System (MLS). These is the most current (and correct) information as it comes direct from MLS. I often have to explain to clients inquiring about a property they found on Zillow, Trulia, or Realtor.com – that the property showing as Active on one of these Third Party sites is not current. It either shows the property as Active when it is in fact sold, and may have sold months ago. I also regularly see that the third party sites show granite counters when in fact the property has laminate counters, or the price is not reflected correctly, and so forth. While it is true that these third party real estate internet sites do receive their information from our MLS, there seems to be something within each of their systems that takes the information and does not always accurately portray it. Realtor.com is perhaps the best of the third party sites regarding accuracy. However, Direct from our MLS is best!

These MLS Auto Email Notifications only come to the Client when a property meeting their requirements either enters the Market, or an existing Listed Property has a change in Price. The Criteria (or, Parameters) for these Saved Searches is obtained from the Client and inputted by the Realtor into the MLS system – literally takes just a few minutes to arrange. Communications can be all by email if preferred and with no obligation. They can also be deleted with a simple email or phone call request.

The Saved Searches can be for any type of property … Single Family Home, Land, Condo, Commercial … it can be for any Location such as Oceanfront, Soundfront, or any specific area such as Nags Head Soundside, Southern Shores Oceanside, Kill Devil Hills Between Highways, Corolla Oceanside, Duck, Martin’s Point, etc. These “Saved Searches” allow the Client to stay abreast of the latest properties meeting their requirements without having to manually search it themselves. This is a great tool for Buyers as this allows a Purchase to stay abreast of Properties of interest as soon as they hit the market or have a change in price. I usually set up these notifications to come to you around 5am so that you can peruse them first thing – some like to over their morning Coffee! This also keeps the system from sending (and the client receiving) auto emails throughout the day – which can be distracting.

I currently have over 300 individuals and couples receiving the auto email notifications – many Clients have more than one saved search as they are looking at more than one area or possibly more than one type of property. Clients Gary and Linda Hall, for example, purchased their Oceanfront Lot (adjacent and south of the old DuPont Estate) in Sanderling in Duck – having first been alerted to the Lot via the Auto Email Notification. I have had a considerable number of clients purchase a property utilizing this program. It makes sense to take advantage of this automated program rather than struggling to either remember to search it or finding the time to search it … in an effort to keep up with the Market manually. The Auto Email Program works very well!

Sellers … I also have several sellers who have requested the auto email notifications so that they may stay abreast of Active Listings similar to their property – this s a great way to keep current with the competition and stay informed regarding Market Trends. The system is only set up to send out “Active” Listed Properties. Clients interested in an Overview of recently Sold similar Properties, or a current overview of Similar Properties currently Under Contract … need only send me an email requesting this and I will research it and email the Overview – takes a short time. I actually do this for numerous sellers throughout the Year.

Call or Email John “The Sandman” for more details regarding the Auto Email Notifications … This can be provided to you in a matter of minutes and there is never any obligation!

Then, after that, you will be set to receive an “Automated Email Notification” Direct from the MLS each Time a Newly Listed Property enters the Market, or an Existing Listed Property has a change in Price.

Per the Above explanation regarding the Auto Email Notification Program, I can personally set this up for you – there is no cost and no obligation. This way you do absolutely nothing – it is all automated and it is done for you. This can be done completely through the Email process – No Phone Calls required.

John S. Leatherwood
“The Sandman”
252-202-3834 Cell Direct


Market Cycles …

The Outer Banks Market cycles every approximately 15-16 Years. The last bottom cycle we experienced was in 1996. 15-16 Years Later here we are now yet again at the next Bottom Cycle … although the Media is not yet touting it as such as yet. We may see some slight softening in values this coming year. This is likely to occur until the Foreclosures & Short Sales clear out of inventory.

Purchasing a Property is often one of the Largest, if not “the” Largest Financial Move a Person will contemplate in their Lifetime. It makes sense to Choose the Very Best Agent in the Market … Be Sure to Visit our Testimonials Page to see what Past Clients are Saying …

One of the great advantages of the Web is the Ability to Provide Information. This Website was Designed with You in Mind … there are over 20 ways to Search Properties available (within the Entire MLS), and tons of ways to stay Abreast of Properties that Enter the Market – which may be of interest to you!

There are many Individual Sellers who have decided for one reason or another that this is the Right Time for them to consider Selling their Property. Sellers now are acutely Aware of the present Market and current Values and many are Pricing their Property very Competitively in this Market.

REO Foreclosure Properties… Are a Favorite Topic of Most Buyers in the Market, but NOT to the Exclusion of any other Property available on the Market which may also be an Excellent Value. REO stands for “Real Estate Owned”. This means that the Bank has completed the Foreclosure Process and is now in complete ownership of the Property. In such situations, it is the Bank that will make the decisions as to any eventual Sales Price. Most Banks will require the evntual Buyer to execute an Extensive Contract Addendum, which is created to provide the Bank (Seller) with added protections and is structured very much in favor of the Seller (Bank). Some Addendums modify each provision in the Standard North Carolina Association of Realtors (NCAR) Contract Form. Some Bank’s Addendums are a minor Modification. See PDF Draft Example NCAR Purchase Contract Form attached to this page.

Short Sales Explained… A Short Sales is when a Seller owes more than what his property is worth, or, what he can net from the sale after expenses of sale.When this exists, the seller can either bring the difference in cash (from his other resources) to the table and close. I have had Sellers who have done just this.Or, if the Seller is in a hardship situation, and unable to bring cash to the closing table to cover the difference, the Seller can contact their lender and request a short sale package.The Seller must supply a hardship letter explaining their situation and inability to continue payments. There are additional documents required by the sellers lender of the seller such as pay stubs, verification of income and current financial statement. Often a bank will not entertain a short sale inquiry/request on the part of a seller until the seller is in arrears with their mortgage. However, that is changing and many lenders are now open to requests prior to a property owner being in arrears (behind in payments).

A seller can place their property on the market as short sale and as they still own the property, they can, along with their agents input and recommendation, place a price on a property which will get immediate attention and hopefully draw an offer and then enter the contract phase as soon as possible.Once this happens the seller then submits the copy of the contract to their bank(s) for their approval and written acceptance. At this point it is the sellers bank’s money and not the sellers, therefore the seller’s bank(s) have to approve the sale.

This part of the process /phase can take anywhere from 6-10 weeks, or more as most Banks have an abundance of these request right now and take time to work through them. The Banks will also during this time have an independent BPO (Broker Price Opinion) completed and a formal appraisal completed for their own information to confirm if this Short Sale contract price is one that they will agree too.

Some banks never respond to a short sale request at this point. This type of sale appears to have the potential of being an exciting opportunity, but it can be a headache and a waste of time and effort as a high percentage of these transactions do not close. It most certainly requires patience on the part of all involved. The nice thing about the Short sale Contract is that there is an addendum Titled Short Sale Addendum – which is attached to an Offer To Purchase for a property which is a Short Sale which allows the Buyer the option to terminate a contract and receive the Earnest Money Deposit back in its entirety PRIOR to the Seller’s bank’s approval of sale. However, Not the Due Diligence Fee (if any) paid to Seller as a part of any contract.Some Sellers have 2 loans … a 1st mortgage and a 2nd mortgage/equity line. This requires skillful negotiation with the 2 banks – often this is accomplished with the input and coordination of the Seller’s Realtor.

As a seller, you will want to make sure that your Broker is well versed in Short Sales and capable of assisting through this process.A Buyer’s Agent can usually find what loans exist and what the original loan amounts … not usually the current loan amount – however, usually they are not much different. The equity line notes will show the maximum credit line – so, one would prob assume that anyone in this situation has maxed out that line.At whatever point the sellers bank provides written approval of sale, then the seller’s bank will also at that point usually specify a closing date by which the transaction will have to close – which is usually a short time after they approve the sale.
Once Under Contract To Purchase a Short Sale what are the next steps …

  1. Phase One – You have what is known as the “Short Sale Addendum Phase” which is followed by the “Due Diligence Phase”. As a buyer, you have the unilateral right and ability to cancel your contract at any time and for any reason under these 2 phases. First, there is an addendum added to the Purchase Contract – a standard North Carolina Association of Realtors (NCAR) Short Sale Addendum Form – which stipulates that the due diligence Phase begins once the sellers short sale bank has issued its written approval and seller has accepted same in writing and you have a copy. In a short sale, a Buyer will not want to expend any monies until they know the sellers bank has approved the sale.
  2. Phase Two – Due Diligence Phase is the time during which you will perform all inspections & Obtain Financing (if required) after receiving Sellers Short Sale Bank’s’ “Written Approval of Sale and Sellers written acceptance of same. You will want to discuss this with your Agent, Lender and Closing Attorney to make sure that once you do have sellers bank’s approval that these folks would be ready to go get all completed for you within the time period required.Call or email with any questions.
  3. Closing Phase – this is the point at which your Purchase Contract goes from what I like to call a “Soft Contract” to a “Hard Contract” – this usually occurs a week to 10 days prior to closing. At this point a Purchaser cannot easily cancel their contract – at least not without legal and financial ramifications. By this point a Purchaser will well know that they are good to go and so this has never been an issue.

2013 NEW TAX ASSESSMENTS … What They Mean to You …

There are 2 Taxing Authorities (Dare & Currituck Counties) here on the Outer Banks. Within these Counties there are some areas that are also under the Taxing Authority of a Municipality (Town/Township), and some areas are not – the areas not within a Municipality are in an “Un-Incorporated” area of the County.

In an un-incorporated area, there is the single County taxing authority. When also located within a municipality, a property owner will pay property taxes to the County and the Municipality or Town.

The State of North Carolina requires all Counties in the State to re-assess real property values (at minimum) every
8 years. A County can elect to perform a re-assessment in a lesser time period, however, due to the expense of the process, most will perform these on the 8 year intervals. In Dare & Currituck Counties, this is scheduled to take place in 2013, with the new assessments “listed in 2013”.

When a re-assessment occurs, generally, property assessed values will increase or decrease. During the last re-assessments in 2005 in both Counties, the “assessed values increased” dramatically. When that happens, the “tax rate was decreased” so that the County taxing authority remains roughly “revenue neutral” which is generally what the Taxing Authority will tell you is there goal.

Since the previous assessment, property values have decreased, so the next re-assessment will likely reflect an across the board “reduction in assessed property values”, some being more significant than others. In “2013” we can expect that “Tax Assessessments will decrease” significantly. When this happens the “Tax Rate” is increased to compensate. Once the new assessed values are totaled, the Counties will again set a new tax rate – which will “likely increase the rate” which will be roughly revenue neutral for the Counties.

Somehow, I think the taxing authorities always seem to realize some increase in revenue when these re-assessments occur!

Q: Is the Tax Assessment a viable benchmark to determine value?
A: They are simply an indicator of the rough value of a property at the time the assessment was performed. They are not the equivalent of a formal appraisal, because, as you know, the assessor does not have access to the interior of a property.

Q: Why do some Realtors reference an asking price as “Being $65,000 below Assessed Value!”?
A: I don’t know why any agent would use this as a benchmark, as it is irrelevant. The value of any property is based on what a willing & able buyer is willing to pay, and a seller is willing to sell for. Baseline Value is determined by a buyer (consumer) through comparison with all available properties meeting their requirements for location, condition and price.

Conclusion Regarding Purchasing in this Market …

“Trifecta” … What I call the “Tri-Fecta” is the combination of excellent Mortgage Financing Rates, Market Cycle Bottom Prices, and Sellers willing to negotiate *** For a Buyer it just doesn’t get any better than this. This combination, with these rates, hasn’t occurred in more than 3 decades. The smart Buyers are in the Market and have been for the past 2 years, taking advantage of this perfect storm.

Call or email with any questions!


John S. Leatherwood
“The Sandman”
252-202-3834 Cell Direct