Important info for home sellers in the Greater Atlanta area

The Covid-19 impact on real estate is a study in contrasts when the "before" and "after" data is reviewed. Seismic shifts of day to day activities impacted every aspect of life, including residential real estate. The pandemic seems to have changed how home buyers and sellers act and what they value (for now anyway). Also clear; the pre-covid inventory shortage was further exacerbated by shut downs and fears of having people walk through homes. Fewer homes, low rates, increased competition and prices came together. A section of the 2020 national association of realtors report compared the housing market before March of 2020 with that after; some familiar trends were reinforced while new ones appeared.

Multi-Generational Homes are In

Desire for…

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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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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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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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 Murder, violent crime, natural death, neighborhood sex offenders, meth labs... would these be things the average home buyer might be interested in learning about if they liked a particular home? If so, don't expect any help from a seller. These and a long list of other things, are not required to be disclosed in Georgia. Things required to be disclosed by home sellers in Georgia are puzzling, right down to the "must be disclosed only if asked" rule. This often surprises home buyers in Georgia. Those using an inexperienced or no agent rarely understand the importance of making good use of the due diligence period.

homesellers never lieMeth labs are scattered all across the country, including throughout metro Atlanta. Yet there is NO requirement to disclose that a home has…

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The problems with stucco homes couldn't be better demonstrated than with this real world listing. This is "hardcoat" stucco; not EFIS (synthetic) which has the universal bad rap. As with any siding, but especially stucco; moisture, mold and termites are just waiting for a chance; and that is evidenced here. Many agents have no idea about the potential disaster behind those walls, every stucco home should have a dedicated stucco inspection

It starts where is almost always does - control of surface water. Water MUST be moved out and away from every home, having a downspout empty onto a slab under the deck that sags toward the stucco home...not good. Being in a bowl and the low point of the lot or community, not good. Water always wins and water is…

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