Important info for home sellers in the Greater Atlanta area

Price per square foot is unreliable to value homes. It is without question one of the most quoted "sources" when home values are discussed but it is so flawed that on any level, it cannot stand even the softest of challenges. In fact, price per square foot is so unreliable that it makes  automatedvaluation models (think Zestimates) look reliable.

The idea that something as unique as a home can be "valued" using a method with at least 10 major variables is idiotic. Yet and still, price per square foot is bandied about as some type of cornerstone when home prices are talked about. It falls cleanly into the "garbage in, garbage out" research idiom as nothing in the data used to ascertain that "value" is credible. The typical real estate agent doesn't even…

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It’s closing day and the buyers walk the home before heading to the attorney’s office. But not all is right when the door swings open. What happens if the seller didn’t make the agreed upon repairs? What happens if the HVAC isn’t working? Can a home buyer terminate on closing day because of condition and refuse to close? Maybe. The most common problems are changes in the home from contract to close and agreed upon repairs.

Substantially the Same

The GA Association of Realtors (GAR) contract stipulates that the property will be in substantially the same condition as it was on binding agreement date.  Briefly: “Seller warrants that at the time of closing, the Property and all items remaining with the Property, if any, will be in substantially the…

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Trying to predict any market; stock, bond, mortgage, real estate or other type is a measured guess at best. Toss in a global pandemic, global supply chain issues along with global inflation and the challenge is exacerbated. But in this maelstrom comes a confident 2022 housing market forecast from Goldman Sachs; they predict home prices will appreciate 16% during 2022.

In 2019 the housing market found its legs and combined with a historically strong economy and low rates, the housing market caught fire. The pandemic slammed on the brakes, but by mid ’20 things inexplicably exploded. Prices skyrocketed, competition was ferocious and this fever has been running hot through most of ’21. The two main drivers; low mortgage rates and historically low…

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The Covid influence on real estate continues to be unprecedented. Not one pundit or economic expert predicted or could have predicted how the pandemic set the housing market on fire. Sellers hit unexpected jackpots but not all need or want to become buyers. Many are remaining in place, working on and improving their homes. Their concerns? What provides the best return on investment for homeowners?

The best improvement to any home is one that makes it work better for the owner. What’s the point of spending money on something if it doesn’t bring joy? This is “value in use”; and it’s different for every homeowner because every owner has different

requirements for their home. The best improvements are valued by both the owner and the market (the…

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Summer is done and we've turned the corner into the last quarter of the 2021 Atlanta area real estate market. From the opening bell of 2020, yes, back almost two years, it's been a bonkers ride. The election, covid, new administration, covid, inflation, covid and continuing supply chain disasters mixed into "typical" real estate market dynamics. Who knows what lies ahead? No one. All that said, what did the Atlanta area real estate market look like over the third quarter of 2021?  

The need to dig deep into the data cannot be overemphasized; things look one way when viewed as a block but often look an entirely different way when boiled down into micro markets. When that’s done, buyers and sellers will see that looking at data broadly by county, city or…

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What happens if there was a murder in a home we bought? Well in Georgia, unless the buyer specifically asked the seller about this during due diligence, nothing happens. Georgia is a buyer beware state and there are no requirements for homeowners or brokers to volunteer this and other information. Violent crimes, suicides, natural deaths, drug labs....if the buyer doesn't ask, the seller isn't required to tell. And if the buyer waives the due diligence period to "win" in a multiple offer situation...sorry.

Mum’s the Word

Georgia’s “Stigmatized Property Statute” offers significant protection to both the buyer and the listing agent. They are not liable for failing to disclose violent events occurring on/in the property like murder, felonies or…

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The idea that a company or investment firm will provide a cash offer for your home is instinctively positive, what’s not to like? To be clear, this is called a “direct sale” as the home isn’t offered for sale in traditional ways. Usually a buyer contacts a seller directly (often initiated by the seller) with an offer and terms of sale. Executed correctly, an off market or direct sale cash transaction can be completed very quickly; about as long as it takes to clear title and get the closing docs prepared. The wild card of course, is having an idea of what the home might be worth on the open market.

A “cash offer for your home” isn’t new. Over the last few decades, the greater Atlanta area became and remains one of the top markets for these…

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The homebot monthly home value report is now available and is absolutely free. Homebot provides home owners an unequaled depth of information about their home and competing market. Not only providing one of the most accurate valuation models, homebot also provides a market snapshot, current mortgage rates and options, specific loan information, scenarios for selling and buying and even data on Airbnb rental options. This dynamic report is always updating, never static so the most current info is always presented.

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Just a couple of screen shots found in each homebot report:

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Should you consider a backup offer? Are backup offers good options for home buyers and sellers? In highly competitive housing markets with desperate buyers and multiple offers, it might seem pointless to write a backup offer, but why not? Buyers and sellers have different considerations, but backup offers can be good options for each. In the end, a back up offer doesn't cost a buyer anything and it can provide the seller with a nice fall back should the primary offer fall apart.

What is a Backup Offer?

Simply put, a backup offer is an accepted offer that immediately becomes primary in the event the current accepted offer fails. Buyer and seller negotiate on terms and conditions just as they normally would. If they reach agreement, a backup offer…

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Interpreting real estate stats is a nuanced business; like all things statistical, the devil is in the details. We'll keep the devil at bay here as we look at less common indicators of housing market strength north and west of Atlanta. How does list price compare to sale price? How many homes are selling and how long does it take? Alpharetta, Roswell, Johns Creek and Cumming are featured to the north. Marietta, Woodstock, Canton and Kennesaw are featured to the west-northwest. City designation is the only criteria, this is broad and if we drilled down, we'd likely see different price points act differently. We cover from January 2020 to present and look at sale to list price ratio, number of closed sales and average days on market. Scroll over the charts…

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