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Ask an Expert – Charlotte’s Active Adult Communities

Ask an Expert – Charlotte’s Active Adult Communities
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Reid Baxter is the owner of The Baxter Team, the top performing real estate team in Sun City Carolina Lakes, and the winner of Indian Land’s “Best of The Best” award three years in a row. Although Reid and his team can and do represent the full range of real estate expertise and experience, they specialize in age-restricted communities.  We sat down with Reid to get some insight into topics he and his team often discuss with local residents and customers. 

Charlotte Seniors (CS):  I’m considering selling my home but have noticed there are quite a few homes on the market, should I sell now or wait?

Reid:  This is a question with many variables, and the answers will depend mostly on your personal needs and the specifics of your home.  If you need to transition to an independent living or assisted living community right now, pricing your home to sell at a fair price for you and for the buyer almost always gets the job done regardless of the rest of the market.  Timing the housing market, like timing the stock market, is always tricky.  Your home is most often your most valuable tangible asset.  And it is always better to get ahead of a major move than to be behind.  So, if you are considering selling your home, the first step is to make an appointment with a realtor who understands your community to discuss a pricing and marketing strategy.

CS: How do I choose one realtor over another?

Reid:  Let me see how I can navigate this.  Realtors are fundamentally in the business of selling or buying homes on behalf of their clients.  We are trained and licensed to legally and ethically represent either party of a very expensive and complicated transaction.  Our job is to faithfully and honestly advocate for our client.  Sometimes that means advising a client of something they don’t want to hear – You are asking too much.  You are offering too little.  And numerous other details.  But to answer the question, you should choose a realtor based on experience and success in that market, which means it’s almost always better to contract with an experienced local agency rather than with the friend of a friend who happens to have a real estate license.  I don’t want to diminish the friend of a friend realtor, but the full-time local agency has a track record in your market.

CS:  Fine, but how do I pick a local agency?

Reid:  Okay, I’m going to give you a peak behind the curtain.  There are two experienced agencies in my local market: The Baxter Team, which is my agency; and Team Pogue, owned by Laura Pogue.  Too often, folks think of us as archrivals, like the Red Sox and the Yankees.  But Laura and I have been friends for years.  Yes, we are in the same market and compete for many of the same listings.  But we have decades of experience in real estate, and a full decade in the Charlotte metro area 55+ age-restricted market.  Honestly, you could not possibly go wrong with either one of us.  Nevertheless, I have tried to differentiate what I offer by adding a few bells and whistles like a Construction Manager who helps my buyers with walk-throughs and my sellers with inspection repairs.  I have also added a Community Ambassador to give tours to prospective buyers and to do weekly walk-throughs of our vacant listings.  We can even offer an enhanced listing to our selling clients for a seamless transition from an active adult community to any of the Charlotte area’s outstanding independent or assisted living communities.  Bottom line:  Who do you going to trust with a very expensive asset?  Do the services they offer meet your specific needs?

CS: What kind of impact will Carolina Orchards and Tree Tops have on established communities like Sun City Carolina Lakes?

Reid:  Each community has its own DNA.  But with Sun City, you know what you are getting right now, especially since it has recently transitioned over to a homeowner Board of Directors.  What you see is what you get.  Sun City is an established community with an in-place culture.  The facilities and amenities are world-class.  The various clubs and interest groups are established and continue to evolve along with the demographic, which is getting both younger and older in many cases.  Sun City is already a very good community and will continue to get better.  Carolina Orchards and Tree Tops will eventually become their own thing as well.  Choice is not bad.  Having multiple age-restricted communities will only attract seniors from around the country as they see that Charlotte has a lot to offer as a senior destination. 

CS: Thanks, Reid.

Reid:  My pleasure.  By the way, it’s great having a business adjacent to Sun City.  My mother lives in Sun City, and my family is on campus so much, my kids think we live there.