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 idea frequently endorsed by agents looking to just snatch a listing. As the number of qualified buyers dropped, those remaining became more cautious and deliberate. A listing dichotomy developed; the well presented and accurately priced homes (quality), attracted buyers. These sold quickly with very favorable terms for sellers. The overpriced, poorly presented homes (trash) lingered, were reduced, or expired. We saw this last season and we see it again, right now. Both situations impacted buyer clients of mine over this single mid Feb '24 weekend.

Quality Homes Listed for Sale

Accurately priced, quality homes remain desirable. A buyer client of mine in the North Fulton areas east of 400 has been on the hunt for several weeks. Well focused and leveraging my 3+ decades of sales and appraisal experience, we're patiently perusing the inventory. In mid Feb '24 (as in a few days ago) one popped in a highly desirable community and school district; we were on it within a day. So were 118 other buyers...all visiting this one and prowling the same area and price range. We wrote a strong but measured offer. We were over list, 40% down, waived all contingencies, closed when the seller wanted and went with three days due diligence. And this happened -   

A strong offer by all accounts and one of the losers. 3 days on the market, 118 visits and 25+ over list offers. Considering over 25 buyers were willing and able to drop 1M+ on this single home is a testament to it's appeal and competitive pricing plan. 

Trash Homes Listed for Sale

While sellers still control the market, that sway is nothing like it was; but not everyone believes that. Homes that clutter the radar may have a variety of different issues but tend to share one common trait; unrealistic sellers. "I need, I want, I think" all come into play and when connected with a "yes" agent, the end result is easy to predict. For those "by owner", the results are all but certain. A different set of buyers and I ran across one particularly mind boggling listing. I had my doubts, but getting my buyers into plenty of homes allows them to develop a deep base of knowledge and gives me the chance to expose them to "real world" training on issues that I see. This was the consummate DIY mess inside and straight up disaster outside - as we see here:

After some rather pointed and stinging feedback to the agent about the condition of this home and how it was presented as "dream luxury", I received this message:

Doing "some repairs" is like slapping a band-aid on a sucking chest wound. The most effective remedy for this home is a significant price reduction to reflect the work required. This was essentially an "investor" level home; nothing like the "remodelled dream home" the listing agent described. 

It's mid Feb '24, the spring market in Atlanta is under way. If you're planning to sell, you will have the best results by accurately pricing and presenting your home in the best manner possible. Sellers that fail to understand the current market will sit, and that stigma will follow the home. For home buyers, expect competition for those great homes. Be focused and ready - and work with an agent that will keep you from getting in over your head. Buy with your head, not over it.

Posted by Hank Miller on


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