Everything is important when looking for a home to live in, but one thing trumps all. How well does the home fits the requirements of the buyer? This is known as "value in use"; if the home fails to meet your requirements then why purchase it? With real estate, “value in use” is different than the generic term of “value”. Terms surrounding what a home is "worth" are jumbled; price and value are often used interchangeably and may be best described as what a well informed buyer is willing to pay for a particular property that is offered for sale. This is assumed “arm’s length”; a transaction completely above board. Text books dive deeper but no need for that here.value-in-use-real-estate

Value in Use

Value in use is buyer specific; how does that property fit the buyer's…

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In a strong market, sellers may not formally list their home but take a position of “here’s my price, make me move”. These are typically called “quiet, whisper or pocket listings” and while this can be a successful play, there are things for sellers to consider. Usually there is an agreement between a seller and real estate broker that allows the broker to market the property outside of the MLS. Agent networking, social media, open houses and other ways are used to expose the home. Sometimes there is no formal agreement, just a “hey agent, if you know someone that is looking….”. That informality can be problematic, there are legal and contractual aspects to be considered. Many owners talk about a move "if they get their price", but several things need to…

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There is a serious lack of skilled labor among home builders in the Atlanta area. Quality and issues exponentially increased over the prior few years, then a pandemic came to town and flipped the tables. A voracious appetite for housing met drastic labor shortages, limited inventory, rising prices and Covid-19 delays. Builders are racing to get homes built and sold; their site agents busy working getting buyers under contract for them. Who is representing the best interests of those buyers? Not the site agentpoor new construction

Who is Building Your New Home?

"ABC Homes" is not building your home; your new home is being built by subcontractors that bid for the work. A lack of  skilled labor is arguably the biggest problem with new construction. Many experienced…

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It's time to hang your stockings and decorate your tree because Christmas is here again! I'm sharing lots of festive ways to decorate your home for the holidays, including exterior and interior decor ideas you're bound to love!  

Wreaths, Wreaths, Wreaths

Exterior Christmas Home Decor By The Fox Group Featuring Wreaths On Windows And A Snowy YardImage by @the_fox_group

If the exterior of your home has lots of windows, big or small, hanging a wreath on each pane is such a classic holiday look that will never go out of style. Add pretty white lights or red ribbon to spruce them up a bit and you're good to go! It's a simple yet beautiful way to decorate the outside of your home for Christmas!

Image by Elizabeth Demos // Southern Living Mag

Don't forget to hang a pretty wreath on your front door (and even the back!) for that…

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One yellow rubber duck surrounded by colorless ducksHOW TO WIN A BIDDING WAR WHEN BUYING A HOME

Learning how to win a bidding war when buying a home usually comes from losing; as others win you learn. There are fundamental techniques and steps to take that will make your offer shine when multiple offers are received. Working with an experienced buyer’s agent is key; one that can dissect data, honestly guide you, write an effective offer and respond rapidly during the process. Many strong offers are lost because buyer agents fail to respond in a timely manner. In situations where "highest and best" offers are called for, remember; highest is not always best. A cash offer with no appraisal contingency and a few days of due diligence can be more appealing than a 97% FHA offer. 

Don’t Overpay

The very…

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for-sale-by-owner

Should you sell your home by owner?

Should you sell your home by owner? Should you sell your home without an agent? Valid questions, especially during times of limited inventory when buyers are pounding everything. The internet offers sites, videos, programs and testimonials on how to save thousands selling by owner. For sellers with buyers already lined up, save the money and hire a lawyer to close it. But that’s not everyone. By owners in the open market fail for two main reasons; an inability to remove personal bias from the equation and a lack of understanding about how complicated this process is. Consider just a few of the other major reasons:

The FSBO Stigma

Homes for sale by owner are not common, but there tend to be common threads.…

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Despite a crazy year, the greater North Fulton and Cobb County housing market flourished in 2020. Here we examine and compare the Cobb County markets of Acworth, Kennesaw, Marietta and Smyrna. Next we look at the North Fulton County markets of Alpharetta, Milton, Roswell and Sandy Springs. Three key indicators; median sale price, months of inventory and days on market. 

These charts summarize what buyers and sellers around the north Atlanta housing market experienced; rising price, few homes for sale and a lightening fast market. Scroll the charts for details... 

Acworth / Marietta / Kennesaw / Smyrna 

Each of these markets is enjoying robust appreciation

0-3 is a seller's market, 3-6 balanced, 6+ a buyer's market 

It's…

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Knowing how to resolve home inspection issues can save a deal. This is one of the most emotional parts of a transaction, understand how to navigate it is critical to success. No home, including a new build, will be perfect. Many defects can be spotted by an experienced agent, others need the eye of a skilled inspector. The trick is for both buyer and seller to be reasonable.home inspection issues

Home sellers are not required to complete a seller's disclosure, some homes are sold "as is". If a disclosure is available, buyers will review this along with inspectors as often this document notes issues or problems within the home. However, a seller should not place too much faith in these as there are things about the property the seller does not need to (and in some cases is…

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In the midst of a real estate transaction, the last thing that anyone wants to consider is what happens if the appraisal comes in low. That discussion usually starts with a low appraisal reportcommon expression involving excrement and then “now what happens”? The buyer’s loan amount is based upon the lower number between the contract price and appraised value. Experienced agents usually understand how to limit real estate appraisal issues, but it sometimes happens. The argument “the market dictates value” may be true, but appraisers write reports for underwriters and there are strict protocols that they must follow.

The “low appraisal” fuse is lit by the mortgage lender. Usually an email follows a call giving notice that the appraisal has been completed and is attached.…

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what is due diligenceWhat is the due diligence period? It's arguably the single most important part of a home sale. Of course everything matters but the due diligence period is essentially an “option period” for the buyer, the time where all of the critical research is to be completed. The buyer has virtually total control during this period. Emotions run especially high; buyers are presented with reports that often scare the hoohah out of them, sellers usually see inspection amendments as a money grab and their backs immediately rise.

Most drama and legal issues are tied to due diligence, seller disclosures and repair amendments. Seller's disclosures are not required in GA, many buyer's fail to understand this. On amendments that address inspection issues, everything has…

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