Important info for home buyers in the Greater Atlanta area

Inept real estate agents cost clients thousands and thousands of dollars. This is often self inflicted; buyers and sellers select agents without proper vetting and research. They remain with them despite poor communication, poor performance and they fail to hold their agent accountable. From inept data analysis, contractual gaffs, improper transaction management and things that you cannot imagine...hack agents cost their clients thousands.

Money Lost on Closing Costs

Here's a very common buyer agent gaff, leaving money on the table. It's also a great example of the buyer's agent NOT working closely with the lender. We listed this investor home at 215K, the buyer was using a conventional loan and putting less than 10% down. The offer came over with a…

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The Atlanta real estate market remains strong despite the rates. We now have two full years of data since the rates jumped, two spring markets to review. While the expected drop in numbers occurred, values have not missed a beat. To be fair, the "metro Atlanta" region is far to large and diverse to paint with one brush. However, this data is useful in providing a good indicator of macro trends. Every submarket is different, as is every type and price point. Success is found by working with skilled professional agents, not some hobby hack agent with ten other side hustles. Below is a review of the six major metro counties and all price points.

Atlanta Home Prices Are Still Increasing

Higher interest rates are not slowing home appreciation in Atlanta.…

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Hey home buyers, they’ve been lying to you. They; the main stream media, the laughingly called "economic experts", the "real estate industry experts"…all of them. Straight up gaslighting you. Telling you about dropping rates, dropping prices and increasing inventory. They're straight up BS'ing you.

Buy the home now, it's not getting easier. Home prices are not substantially dropping any time soon. Not if rates drop, not if supply modestly increases and damn sure not due to the much ballyhooed “commission” changes. Buyers waiting for prices to substantially drop are wasting time and losing money. Sounds like the typical hack agent line, but serious buyers need to accept things and get it done. The cavalry isn't coming, no one is coming.

Gaslighting…

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About two years ago this month, Atlanta real estate and interest rates started a very complex relationship. The Fed slammed the brakes on low rates, and despite the initial wobble, the Atlanta real estate market found stability and firm ground. There was pain of course, many buyers were eliminated and the withdrawals from those low rates is still being felt. Two years in, we have enough data to evaluate the impact of the rate jump; the questions of “how much, how many, and how long” can be answered at this point. Comparing Feb '24 to Feb '23 and Feb '22 (six main metro counties); we see how hard those rate increases hit in '22 and how the market adjusted through '23.

Home Prices in Atlanta Continue to Rise

Median prices fluctuate as they do in every…

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As the early spring 2024 season opens around Greater Atlanta, some home buyers are still facing multiple offers. This is not the same universal craziness that we saw during the post pandemic days, but the current inventory of highly desirable homes remains fiercely competitive. Greater Atlanta saw a significant influx of post pandemic buyers coming to town with pockets full of cash. They were hungry to buy, and they did. Sellers could list pretty much anything at any price and it would go quickly at or over list. Those days are over...sorta.

Home Sellers are always last to adjust when markets shift. As rates rose and buyers froze in late '22-early '23, sellers continued on with aspirational pricing.  Their home was the "exception" to the market, an…

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Home buyers would do well to learn how to spot drainage issues. Water is not your friend; if it's not controlled it will bite in a number of different ways and every one will hurt. The first and most obvious tell is the position of the home; is it declined from the road? Gravity ensures that water takes the path of least resistance; will that be rushing down an expansive driveway that lets it blast into the house or garage? Will that be an area of yard that becomes a trench due to erosion?

Walk all areas of the yard to see where the water is coming from, where it goes and what damage it's doing and may have already done. Be aware of street drains; where do they lead, where do they dump the water? Remember; headwalls, culverts, swales and similar…

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What is the forecast for the Atlanta real estate market in 2024? Contrary to most every regional and national prognosticator, the only legitimate answer is "it depends". It's critical to understand prior markets, look for patterns, and temper that with current economic conditions. The idea that any "housing" or "economic expert" can authoritatively declare where this market is headed over the year is absurd. How can variables like local and national economic conditions, consumer debt, consumer confidence, the Fed, global supply chains, wars and conflict and a hundred other wild cards be corralled? They cannot.

We can however, develop supported opinions by combining recent data, extensive local experience and cautious interpretation of the variables…

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The multiple commission lawsuits impacting the real estate industry will change how home buyers, home sellers and real estate agents interact. If a home seller opts not to offer a co-op compensation, how will home buyers pay agents after the commission lawsuits? That’s a question rippling through the agent ranks and one that home buyers might also want to consider. While the legal wrangling over commission questions may take years to sort out, the impact will be felt regardless of how the appeals play out. There will be unintended consequences and the hit will likely be to those least able to afford it both financially and in terms of home buying experience.

Home Buyers Will Not Use an Agent

Affordability is the single biggest obstacle to…

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The pickleball noise problem. The popularity of pickleball has brought with it a unique challenge: the noise generated by the game. Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines the elements of tennis,pickleball courts ping pong and badminton. It’s played with a plastic ball with holes in it that resembles a wiffle ball. While the sport was created in the 1960s, it recently gained steam during the Covid-19 pandemic, as people looked for ways to get exercise outdoors and also be social. But not everyone is thrilled, especially home owners within ear shot of the courts.

Pickleball is typically played on a court similar to a tennis court, but with a smaller size. The paddles used in pickleball are solid, unlike the stringed rackets in tennis, and the ball is a hard plastic…

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Real estate contracts occasionally collapse due to Buyer problems, but what if the Seller bails out? Can a Buyer sue a Seller if they refuse to close? What used to be infrequent is becoming more common; Sellers backing out of contracts. They might have second thoughts about giving up a low rate or realize that maybe it’s better to keep the home they have. If that happens, what can a Buyer do?

If a Seller Refuses to Close a Real Estate Contract

In Georgia, Sellers play a less proactive role, most of the contract actions are initiated by the Buyers. If a Seller decides not to finalize the deal after all the conditions have been satisfied, the Georgia Association of Realtors contract (06/01/23) provides the following advice:

Remedies of Buyer: In…

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