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Raleigh’s economy ranks 2nd in nation, and NC State had a lot to do with it, report says

“Our great universities are the backbone of our economy! Because of the universities, we got RTP, and maybe Apple, Amazon etc…..certainly countless other tech jobs. This is the BEST use of our taxpayer dollars,” states Becky Harper of Harper Tate Homes, Re/Max United.

Raleigh has climbed higher up a list of the nation’s top cities for creating and keeping quality jobs, and N.C. State University is given significant credit for the city’s economic success.

The Raleigh Metropolitan Statistical Area ranked 2nd on the list of best-performing cities for 2017, according to the Milken Institute, a California think tank. The City of Oaks climbed four spots from the No. 6 ranking it held in both 2015 and 2016.

The index of top cities is designed to show how metro areas stand relative to others in the nation in terms of economic vitality. It measures growth in terms of jobs, wages, salaries and technology output, with an emphasis on employment growth.

The Provo-Orem, Utah area –home to Brigham Young University – topped the list after a second-place ranking in 2016.

Raleigh and No. 3 Plano-Irving, Texas, offer more welcoming business climates and lower costs than coastal tech cities, the report said. “Raleigh’s research and development-driven industries” contributed to its rise.

The report notes that while the Triangle is home to several major universities, N.C. Statewas the only local school to place in the top 25 of Milken’s 2017 index of the best universities for technology transfer and commercialization.

“The university’s Centennial Campus, which now houses more than 75 research centers and academic departments alongside a similar number of private, nonprofit, and government partners, expands the ability of academics and industry to collaborate and innovate,” the report says of N.C. State. “Through co-op and internship programs, the school creates strong ties to local industry, and tightens the relationship between curriculum and career by introducing students early to real-world applications and challenges.”

The Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia area was the only other North Carolina MSA to make the top 25. Charlotte came in 13th, dropping one spot from its 2016 ranking.

Durham-Chapel Hill (ranked 106th) dropped 21 spots, Winston-Salem (121st) dropped 17, and Greensboro-High Point (142nd) fell 21 spots from 2016.

BY AARON MOODY, News&Observer

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Submitting Creative Bids During the Spring Market Frenzy

It’s that time of year again. The spring market is in full swing and crowds of buyers are fighting over their dream house—or at least the closest thing to it, considering this year’s nationwide inventory shortage isn’t leaving many options. So, what does that mean? For the most part, higher prices, more competition and a whole lot of bids.

Listings in good condition tend to get multiple offers this time of year, and buyers are putting forth their strongest submissions—cash offers, over-asking, fast closings, no contingencies, etc. But creativity is the name of the game in this year’s competitive market. Buyers are inspired to win over the seller’s emotional side. Here are the latest home-buying trends for beating out the competition in this swarming spring market:

Love Letters

While they’ve been around for a while, they’re getting a lot more popular, being used by buyers as a last-ditch effort to win via the seller’s emotional attachment to the home. Most letters talk about favorite design choices the seller incorporated, plans to raise the family and proclamations that the home is “the one” after a long and tough home search.

With so many letters delivered, buyers can’t risk being disingenuous. Oversharing or being too emotional can backfire. It’s best to get an idea of what type of person the seller is—emotional or data-driven—and what type of activities and hobbies they have in common before typing up or writing a letter.

If the sellers lived in the home for years and brought up their family in it, buyers can have their own kids craft letters on colorful paper with sloppy crayon-writing to tie in that connection. Or if the seller is an animal lover, buyers can talk about how the yard is a perfect place for their dog to run around. Including photos with the letter can make the process even more personal.

Letters usually tell the seller that the buyer is serious and willing to take care of the home. But some sellers may only focus on the numbers and terms. It’s a toss-up, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

Buyer-Crafted Videos

These are a little newer, emerging after YouTube’s digital push into vlogging, or video blogging. While they can come off as cheesy, they are a little more personal than handwritten letters, because sellers will feel like the potential buyer is talking directly to them.

And if buyers are feeling gutsy, and the seller has a more creative personality, this can be the perfect place to showcase unique talents while sharing their love for the home. Can the buyer sing? A quirky, original song about the home may just be the winning ticket. Does the buyer play the ukulele? It could be a fun twist that breaks the ice. Or maybe just a sit-down video with the buyers—talking directly into the camera to make it more conversational—is the winning choice.

According to REALTOR® Magazine, a couple recently won a bid on their dream home by making a music video to “Our House,” which just so happened to be the song the sellers sang to each other when they first lit the fireplace in their home. The connection instantly won the sellers over, beating out another offer that was $20,000 over the buyers’ submission.

The options are endless and it’s more important than ever to stand apart from the crowd.

4 Steps to Take Before a Home Showing

Buyers want to know exactly what they’re getting when purchasing a home. As it’s a major investment, all potential homebuyers will want to inspect your entire property while keeping an eye out for any signs of damage. What can you do to make sure your home is ready for public scrutiny? Here’s what you need to know:

Thoroughly Clean the Home

Before allowing anyone into your home, you should have it thoroughly cleaned. This means dusting, vacuuming and taking out the trash. It may also mean taking steps to remove smoke or other odors from the air. If walls or other surfaces have mold on them, be sure to clean them prior to an open house. In addition to increasing the odds that someone makes an offer, taking the time to eliminate mold will go a long way toward reducing the risk of potential buyers getting sick.

Take Time to Stage the Home

Prospective buyers want to get an idea as to how a given space within a home can be used. For instance, they may want to see if there’s enough room for their bed in the master bedroom or if there’s enough room for the couch in the living room. If you have a finished attic or basement, be sure to showcase it as a space a buyer can make good use of.

Remove Potentially Offensive Items

When you show a house, you want to present a neutral look to potential buyers. This may mean getting rid of posters that make political or religious references. You may also want to hide items with sports logos, especially if you live in an area where rivalries are huge. By doing so, you will allow those who visit your home to imagine themselves living in the space without having anything to cloud their vision.

Make Necessary Repairs Before an Open House

If you’re planning on making repairs prior to selling the home, do them before allowing anyone to see the space. For instance, you may want to repair the leaking water heater or replace shingles that have fallen off the roof as soon as possible. You should also make sure the garage door opens and closes properly and that all of the lights work.

If you want to sell your home in a timely manner, you must know how to prepare the space for public viewing. Making repairs, removing offensive items and properly staging the property may all increase the odds of selling your home.

Another one that is important is to make sure your house smells good!

By taking these steps before a showing, you may very well increase a buyer’s confidence that the home is worth putting an offer on.  Good Luck!

By: Hannah Whittenly; RISMedia’s Housecall