Important info for home sellers 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…

215 Views, 0 Comments

The pandemic induced hysteria around the Atlanta housing market is rapidly giving way to balance and with it, the return of a special type of nonsense. Some home sellers take things personal and can be reluctant to acknowledge the changing market; none of that applies to their home. Data clearly shows their home is aspirationally priced, buyers confirm it, and it sits idle. When challenged the agent and/or buyer drop the classic line..."the seller doesn't need to sell". 

Doesn't need to sell is one of the stupidest things anyone in real estate will say or hear. It's illogical and contrary; why is the home is listed? That answer is always along the lines of "that's what they want, that's what they have in it, or that's what they need". Oh OK.

The…

578 Views, 0 Comments

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…

1162 Views, 0 Comments

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…

977 Views, 0 Comments

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…

1728 Views, 0 Comments

Properly priced homes still command attention despite the ongoing Atlanta area housing market adjustment. The data into the 3rd Qtr of 2022 will show the pull back and move toward a balanced market, but as with everything real estate related, the devil is in the details. At the macro level, buyer activity slowed, days on market increased, months of inventory increased and the general balance of power is moving from sellers to a neutral position. On a granular level however, how homes are presented for sale makes all the difference.

Price & Appeal are Key

No market likes uncertainty, particularly real estate. As rates rose, the initial response of buyers was to sit on their hands, as the shock subsided they returned. However, they return to a market…

1366 Views, 0 Comments

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…

1402 Views, 0 Comments

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,…

1288 Views, 0 Comments

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…

1786 Views, 0 Comments

The last two years have been a blur, so much so that "pre-covid" might be considered prehistoric. A meteor ended the run last time, killer inflation is ending the run this time. The Fed has to get control of this rudderless economy and the withdrawals from handouts and the free spending are here. The insane advantage enjoyed by home sellers over the last few years is ending, time for sellers to remember how to list a home for sale. That said, let's not misconstrue what we're looking at (as of the end of June '22 anyway); the Atlanta real estate market is not crashing. What we are seeing, are signs of a return to normal. What we are hearing are cheers from the buyers - the one's left in the game anyway.

The Charts

Here's a look at key indicators for…

1309 Views, 0 Comments