Important info for home sellers in the Greater Atlanta area

As the 2023 market opens, home sellers face a daunting challenge. It’s not a physical one, but a rather simple mental one; acknowledgeheads in sand the current housing market. Best advice as to what home sellers should expect in spring of 2023...understand that it's not the spring of 2022.

The single most important thing sellers must do is accurately price their home. The market conditions now (end of Jan 23) bear no resemblance to the market conditions a year ago. The current market is largely balanced with a slight edge to sellers. However, that is not universal, some micro markets are balanced and some areas/price points lean to buyers. As with everything real estate, each micro market often varies.

Interest Rates Jump

The most critical and obvious change…

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As 2023 opens, the economic hangover due to the free spending and pandemic handouts continue. One of the craziest segments of fire a real estate agentthe last two years was real estate. Prices and inventory of course, but the massive influx of "hobby agents" over this period was a lesser covered negative result. The number of real estate agents soared to record highs, as did buyer remorse and complaints. It is likely that a frequent question in 2023 will be; can you fire a real estate agent in Georgia? YES, but the devil is in the details of the brokerage agreements.

Fire a Buyer’s Agent in GA

EVERYTHING hinges on the buyer brokerage agreement that was signed. These change annually, sometimes more frequently. Some agents add stipulations and conditions. Buyers MUST READ…

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The art of persuasion, it’s a beautiful thing. Books have been written about it, master classes offered and expressions like “he could sell ice to an Eskimo” coined. Home buyers and home sellers dabble in the “persuasion” arena during the purchase process as they roll through the deal. The typical real estate agent doesn't dabble, they will do whatever necessary to secure their commission. Someone certain to be on the radar of all is the appraiser; sometimes an ally, sometimes an enemy. More on Karen later...

Home Sellers & Appraisers

When an owner decides to list, their first move to solicit a real estate agent. Unfortunately, most sellers fail to properly vet an agent and many agents lack the ability/expertise/desire to speak candidly to…

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Fear sells. The speed at which surveillance devices became "the norm" after 9/11 is mind-boggling; from satellites to cell phones, cameras are rolling. Out shopping for a home, always assume that you are being recorded when you step onto that property. The idea that home surveillance devices are now essential is marketing gold, not to be fully ensconced in "protection" could easily result in your or your loved one's demise. The result? Continuous growth of home security systems, from Ring to full video/audio surveillance; inside and out. Homebuyers are being recorded and there's no obligation for anyone to disclose that.

Smile for the Camera

Under federal and Georgia law, some types of surveillance are legal, and others are not. Whether the…

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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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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…

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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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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…

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