Important info for home buyers in the Greater Atlanta area

Here’s a fun fact, real estate agents in GA have no fiduciary responsibility to their client or customer. Some may ask, “what does that mean”? Well, the exact definition varies depending on the type of business, but in short a fiduciary is a person or organization that acts on behalf of another person or persons, putting their clients' interests ahead of their own, with a duty to preserve good faith and trust. Being a fiduciary thus requires being bound both legally and ethically to act in the other's best interests. Typical examples of fiduciaries are trustees, executors, and guardians.

Are Real Estate Agents in GA Fiduciaries?

In some states, but in Georgia real estate agents are not fiduciaries. They are of course expected to exercise reasonable…

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homebuyer regretWell add this to the list of “No chit Sherlock” observations coming out of the last two years. Seems that just over 70% of recent homebuyers have buyer’s remorse. In Feb '21 we noted that 44% of homebuyers had buyer's remorse, these new stats are bonkers. This number is a bit of a surprise and the reasons have to do with price but also with just about every other aspect of the buyer's transactions. Put politely, these buyers are now in a position that no one wants to be in…and they have only themselves to blame. Sure, the market over ’21 and the first part of ’22 was bonkers, competition was fierce. But how many of these mournful buyers made the cardinal sin of not qualifying their agent? Most of them.

Unqualified Real Estate Agents

So many…

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Attention media! Please stop; the greater Atlanta housing market was just fine in the 3rd Qtr of 2022. Stop the insentient blathering about impending real estate Armageddon, the data is not there. The Atlanta housing market in Q3 2022 did not melt down. In fact, the data is nothing like the media would love for everyone to believe. Best to pay attention to legitimate major issues, starting with the recession and inflation.

Atlanta Housing Market in Q3 2022

Let’s have a look at factual data. Here are four charts that display the residential activity in the six major Atlanta area counties considered "Greater Atlanta", the lower left corner of each chart shows the criteria. We examine list price, contract price and sold price. Each chart compares the…

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As we get back to a normal real estate market, contingencies that buyers waived during the covid crazy months will return. Due diligence periods are back and with them, the main contingencies of appraisal, finance, and inspection. It’s reasonable to say that everyone needs to get reacquainted with home inspection hysteria and the rule of making mountains out of moles hills. The inspection is a critical component of the purchase process and certainly one of the most contentious and misunderstood.

The Imperfect Home Inspection

No home is perfect, ever. Homes are not built in labs, they are built on site, by hand and comprised of dozens of different materials. They are impacted by weather conditions, use, age and maintenance levels. Inspectors find…

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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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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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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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