Well what's old is new; let's get ready for the return of verbal (mostly) combat regarding seller's disclosures. Can the seller change the disclosure after contract? Standard real estate answer..."it depends".  Issues with the seller's disclosure tend to be the most common thing buyers and sellers lock horns over. Contracts fall apart as buyers claim things were omitted, information wasn't accurate, something that was to remain was taken...the list is ever growing. Remember all of those buyers that waived the contingencies during the lunacy of '21 - early '22? Now some are having issues and looking to assign blame. A bit late for that, remember that while sellers in Georgia are obligated to disclose latent defects, they are not obligated by law to…

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Properly priced homes still command attention despite the ongoing Atlanta area housing market adjustment. The data into the 3rd Qtr of 2022 will show the pull back and move toward a balanced market, but as with everything real estate related, the devil is in the details. At the macro level, buyer activity slowed, days on market increased, months of inventory increased and the general balance of power is moving from sellers to a neutral position. On a granular level however, how homes are presented for sale makes all the difference.

Price & Appeal are Key

No market likes uncertainty, particularly real estate. As rates rose, the initial response of buyers was to sit on their hands, as the shock subsided they returned. However, they return to a market…

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All of the media outlets have already concluded the housing market is doomed. What if instead of the relentless, bombastic blathering emanating from the media, time was given for patterns to develop? What if the Atlanta real estate market isn’t going to crash? What if this is a period of adjustment and a return to normal? How effective is anticipating stock performance by watching the ticker and reacting every few minutes? What if we back out, let the situation develop and look for past patterns to anticipate future trends? Yeah, what ifs are risky and there are many variables. However when time is taken to consider the data, real estate falls into pretty consistent patterns.

To anticipate where the Atlanta area real estate market might go, it’s good…

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The Atlanta area consistently ranks as one of the very top markets for home flippers. The term "flipping" has a ridiculously broad definition, it ranges from changing the locks and selling it to completely a full remodel and selling it. The TV shows can't fully develop all of the headaches; in 22 minutes they need to wrap things up with smiling faces. The internet parasites selling "secrets" on how to make millions are delighted selling nonsense and collecting a few hundred bucks from each "never to be millionaire". Flipping homes is exceptionally messy, difficult at every level and stressful beyond description. It will keep you up at night, make you gray before your time and likely cost you money and time.

What Does a Flip Home Look Like?

There is…

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Cancel culture invades real estate...The number of cancelled home contracts hit a two year high in June 2022. Nationally, 14.9% of transactions were terminated. The number in Atlanta was higher at 22%. The recent national highs were at the start of the pandemic, 17.6% in Mar '20 and 16.4% in Apr '20. At that time, everything was up in the air as the pandemic took the over the globe.

Atlanta is over the national average but well off the leaders at 17th of the sampled markets. Still, 22% of contracts terminating isn't a anything to ignore. Oddly, Newark NJ had a minuscule 2.6% termination rate. The number is up in Atlanta but let's have a look at why.

Why Contracts Terminate

There are many moving parts to a successful real estate transaction,…

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house on persons headThe great Atlanta real estate market adjustment of 2022 is upon us. As everything shifts, the main players are whispering around the water cooler...will low appraisals be a problem now? Probably not a bad question as the changes in quarter 2 of 2022 were dramatic. As the Fed fights rampant inflation, buyers are faced with dramatic rate increases and sellers with a comparative lack of activity. Lenders and appraisers are also impacted; both industries are circling the wagons just a bit tighter as everyone waits for this market to settle.

No More Appraisal Gimmies

The real estate market coming out of Covid from about fall of 2020 through spring of 2022 was an anomaly. The Fed held rates artificially low by buying billions of dollars of mortgage backed…

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The last two years have been a blur, so much so that "pre-covid" might be considered prehistoric. A meteor ended the run last time, killer inflation is ending the run this time. The Fed has to get control of this rudderless economy and the withdrawals from handouts and the free spending are here. The insane advantage enjoyed by home sellers over the last few years is ending, time for sellers to remember how to list a home for sale. That said, let's not misconstrue what we're looking at (as of the end of June '22 anyway); the Atlanta real estate market is not crashing. What we are seeing, are signs of a return to normal. What we are hearing are cheers from the buyers - the one's left in the game anyway.

The Charts

Here's a look at key indicators for…

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The last few weeks in the Atlanta real estate market have buyers and sellers spinning, the last week or so has them jumping on Ozzy's Crazy Train. The market shifted due to continued historic inflation and housing around Atlanta hit the brakes. This isn't a crash; at this point it appears to be the market catching it's breath after two plus years of straight adrenaline. Now the Fed is tasked with being the economic hit man. They clearly should have acted back in the 4th Qtr of '21 when the administration was dismissing this as "transitory inflation"; something Secretary Yellen knew wasn't accurate and has since admitted.

Experienced agents understand how to handle market shifts, their stripes were earned during the last crash. These are not the same…

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Now the data is there to support what we knew months ago, the Atlanta housing market shifted. In some areas and price points, buyers and sellers got whiplash. Around the end of Jan and into Feb the signs were there, we felt it all through early spring and at the start of May we asked "Is the Atlanta Real Estate Market Shifting"? That was rhetorical, we just didn't have the data to support it because real estate lags. Well we do now. The charts below are the counties that most national organizations call the "Atlanta market". Astute and well educated readers of this blog (like you) know that all real estate is hyper local. However, we're not fighting that battle now. Here we'll look back to the beginning of the year in two week increments. For consistency…

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Appraising and being involved in real estate sales for over 30 years allows me to see epic "renovation" nightmares. The unfortunate side of this are the buyers who often expect their agent to flag issues. Will your agent spot renovation disasters? Well, that depends on if you properly qualified them, if they have the capacity to spot issues and whether they are more concerned with a commission or keeping you out of trouble.

This home was noted as "completely updated" and buyers of mine wanted to see it. The usual flags popped just off the desktop review but a base of knowledge is critical for buyers, looking at homes and seeing issues helps to better understand the process. This home however, was a graduate course in renovation disasters - and…

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