Real World Advice

Tips & real world advice to avoid disaster 

Found 10 blog entries about Real World Advice.

multiple offers on a homeLearning 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 first step in winning is not overpaying; know

7 Views, 0 Comments

for-sale-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. Some sellers have a vehement distaste for

12 Views, 0 Comments

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

148 Views, 0 Comments

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.

186 Views, 0 Comments

What happens when a buyer or seller defaults on a real estate contract? Well in Georgia as of 8/1/2018, the earnest money (good faith money, deposit...) will be of great interest as the ability for the parties to sue is limited. Our friends at Campbell and Brannon, Attorneys at Law provide this concise overview.

When a Buyer Defaults on a Real Estate Contract

real estate lawyer atlantaIn the event this Agreement fails to close due to the default of Buyer, Seller’s sole remedy shall be to retain the earnest money as full liquidated damages. Seller expressly waives any right to assert a claim for specific performance. The parties expressly agree that the earnest money is a reasonable pre-estimate of Seller’s actual damages, which damages the parties agree are difficult to

24 Views, 0 Comments

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

29 Views, 0 Comments

 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

67 Views, 0 Comments

waive the appraisalIs it wise for buyers to waive the appraisal contingency? Appraisals continue to cause agita among many in the home buying process. Is the answer to eliminate it? Current offers reflect the “current” market (listings/pendings) while appraisals reflect the “past” market (solds). This is an inherent conflict especially in a transitional market. When inventory is tight and seller markets exist, the "cleanest" contracts get the most attention. Cash buyers can obviously waive the appraisal contingency completely. Buyers with mortgages must have an appraisal, but there are ways to ease a seller's mind even when an appraisal is required.

Waiving the appraisal contingency is done to present a more streamlined and competitive offer. Completely eliminating the

23 Views, 0 Comments

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

30 Views, 0 Comments

Should you buy a stucco home in Atlanta? A better question might be should you buy a home clad with synthetic stucco or EIFS (Exterior Insulated Finish System)?  This cladding was very popular around Atlanta during the 80’s to early 00’s because of the ease and low cost to install. The foam board installed behind the stucco provides synthetic stuccoadded insulation and the product is very easy for architects to use in design.  Synthetic stucco was meant to be a barrier system that kept water out, but poor installation (mainly flashing issues) can allow water to penetrate and remain unable to escape. Over time, the trapped moisture will eventually eat away sheathing, structural framing, and even interior finishes. Mold, fungal growth and rot are common. Termites are a

10 Views, 0 Comments