Some intelligent and otherwise very successful people do epically dumb things when it comes to buying and/or selling real estate. Failing to completely understand dual agency in Georgia and permitting it is at or near the top of the list. Simply put, dual agency is allowing the same agent to represent both buyer and seller in a real estate transaction. The agent or broker has a client relationship with all parties to the transaction without acting in a designated agency capacity. In these situations, neither party is exclusively represented by a designated real estate agent. Buyers want to pay as little as possible, sellers want the most possible. Consider the easy questions; how are appraisal and inspection issues resolved? How can one agent be an…

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The current Atlanta area real estate market is about as fluid as we’ve seen over the last thirty years. The need to dig deep into the data cannot be overemphasized; things look one way when viewed as a block but often look an entirely different way when boiled down into micro markets. When that’s done, buyers and sellers will see that looking at data broadly by county, city or zip code is often different when looking at it narrowed by price range, school district or physical characteristics.

1st QTR 2021 vs 2nd QTR 2021

“Shifting Markets” are routinely talked about, comparing the first and second quarters of the 2021 Atlanta area real estate market is a text book demonstration of that. The posts below were written as it happened; we saw it…

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The tax man cometh...If you haven’t already, Georgia homeowners will be receiving a “notice of assessment” from the county you reside in. This love letter advises you of the value that the county assessor will use to determine your property tax. Needless to say, the current real estate market is chaotic, it would be prudent to check your assessment and appeal if warranted.

Here’s what you need to know:

* Each year the county tax assessor states a property value for your home which they will use to calculate property taxes.

* Current values for properties in Georgia can be researched off the county assessor site. For convenience, here’s the aggregate site for Georgia - https://qpublic.net/ga/gaassessors/index.html#CCOUNTY

*You may obtain appeal…

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The tragic disaster and loss of life at the Champlain Towers South in Seaside, FL brings to the forefront the challenge of special assessments for condominiums and attached homes. Much remains to be investigated in that case; but at this point it’s clear that major structural problems were known to have existed for several years. The current repair estimate was $15M; with 135 units in the building, that special assessment would be a staggering $111K+- each. The calamity however, is a vivid reminder of the cost of not doing required work. It’s also a warning to any buyer considering units in “apartment style” buildings and even town homes; it is critical to evaluate the health of the community.

How Does the HOA Function?

Being a board member of any…

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The north Atlanta housing market is cooling just a bit, this is supported both anecdotally and by the data. The pent up buyer demand is being offset by increasing inventory. It's still a seller's market; but it seems to be slowly trending toward balance as the year unfolds. The challenge of "easy to sell, hard to buy" remains; after a year of updating and enhancing homes, owners seemed content to stay put. But some may be getting restless because inventory is growing. Homes under contract in many Atlanta markets have been in decline (nationally as well), buyer demand easing...increasing inventory...maybe a move toward balance?

Below we look at a couple of sample markets north of Atlanta; Cobb County and the combination of Cherokee and Forsyth Counties.…

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Pigs get fed and hogs get slaughtered. Not every home is going to attract viscous competition, even with historically low inventory. Buyers are willing to pay handsomely for renovated and well maintained homes, for homes in highly desirable settings, for high quality well-built homes and for homes that offer something unique that draws them. The idea that sellers can simply put a price on a home and buyers will jump isn’t reality. The media however, has sellers convinced it’s a “name your price” environment. It’s not. Sellers that accurately price their homes will do the best, not just with price but by controlling the transaction. Sink that hook deep, set the rules for the game and tilt the table. An accurately priced, well presented home will draw…

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Right now, early June 2021, home buyers around the northern Atlanta market have no hand. No hand, and for the vast majority, no chance. We’re on both sides of this market; the chasm between buyer and seller could not be wider. List price is often a suggestion and home buyers have to concede just about everything – immediately and without reservation. We’re seeing buyers move down to gain strength; 500K-600K buyers move to 400K-500K. This allows for higher offers and larger down payments. We look for very specific concessions and terms when representing sellers, fast and clean rule the day right now. These are 7 brutal truths buyers must consider…

Cash is King

Cash buyers move to the front of the line. Why would a seller deal with a buyer that may…

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By most measures, this insane housing market isn’t likely to implode like a decade ago. That said, while it may not be not be a housing bubble, some buyers that fail to use common sense will shed tears. Unfortunately, the tissue box is most likely to be used most by first time home buyers who lack previous home buying experience. Unlike a decade ago, lending standards remain generally tight; buyers actually have to qualify for mortgages. The level of inventory now is a fraction of what it was pre-crash ten years ago. But demand is stronger, rates are lower, the Federal Reserve continues their “hold” position and the federal government is in a spend and giveaway mode. Buyers in this environment must be focused, use an agent that isn't just chasing a…

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Many homes in the greater Atlanta market built from the 80's to later 90's likely contain one or more components that owners or buyers should be very concerned with. One of the single most troublesome things was "Louisiana Pacific (LP) Inner Seal" siding. This siding is made from chips of wood glued together to make a building material commonly called OSB "oriented strand board". OSB is widely used as a substitute for plywood, mainly due to cost. Louisiana-Pacific used this OSB material, formed it into siding panels and lap siding and embossed it with a covering pattern that imitated the look of natural wood grain. The lap siding was a disaster; water penetrates the edges and nail holes as paint breaks down and once in, the siding delaminates and swells.…

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Atlanta home buyers and sellers know the chess game that the '20-'21 real estate market has been and continues to be. The shortage of housing inventory around the greater Atlanta market is well known; there's no cavalry on the horizon. Buyers are bruised and beaten, just about all having lost more than once during multiple offer situations. The idea of offers over list moved from "only if we need to" to "how much over". Sellers should be loving it, but there's one catch; appraisals. If the appraisal comes in low, that big seller payday may not materialize. Sellers have to nail that back door shut and keep buyers from playing games.

Under List? Surely You Jest

Let's all acknowledge that the greater Atlanta real estate market (2021) is about as strong…

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