Coming off the frenzied Atlanta 2021 real estate market, it's hard to imagine things could get tougher for home buyers, but they are. Many factors are at play/still in play so it's not all real estate related, but buyers don't really care what's causing their consternation; the fact is that right now (late Feb '22), buyers are stumbling and bumbling wondering how to get offers selected. It's a beauty contest and the most appealing offers are getting selected.

The average mortgage rate is a good 1% higher than twelve months ago, with an expected 3-5 Fed rate bumps over '22. Home buyers are rushing to buy ahead of additional rate and/or rent increases, some will be trapped on the hamster wheel of renting. Inventory is even lower than last year and no…

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Although it’s become all too common to hear “…once in a lifetime” or “…once is a hundred years”; the 2020 market and most aspects of the 2021 real estate market could be described in those ways. No one anticipated the impact of Covid and the subsequent impact of billions in government subsidies. But now the brakes are being applied and economists wonder, what will the 2022 Atlanta real estate market look like? Something has to give...or maybe not. At this point in the '22 market (Mid Feb), nothing has changed. In fact, the tempo has increased ahead of rising mortgage rates, which are already a point higher than last year at this time. Just a month ago, we posted that home buyers will be frustrated, that's largely confirmed at this point.

Despite the…

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So what happens if the appraisal is below contract price? The early '22 market is already showing it'll be as tight or tighter than the '20 & '21 markets, buyers are tossing off all constraints to "win" the beauty contest of buying a home. Appraisals below contract price will continue to be a challenge in 2022. Consider, appraisals this year will be using data from the already insane market of 2021 and many will still fall below contract. Remember, the buyer’s loan is based upon the lower of the contract price or appraisal. The appraisal contingency protects the lender – and indirectly the buyer – to ensure the home can be sold for at least the loan value. Buyers that waive or modify the appraisal contingency need to have cash on hand to make up any…

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