It’s hard to believe, but the beginning of a new school year is just around the corner! Although I am sure your kids are still enjoying their summer vacation, it will be no time before they have picked out the perfect backpack and stuffed it with all the essential school supplies.
One of the top search criteria I hear from buyers is schools. Schools can be a primary reason for moving and a major deciding factor for the home you choose to buy. First and foremost, parents want the best schools for their kids - that is a given. But beyond that, the school district where a home resides can determine the market value of a home and it’s potential to gain value in the future. And, the sought after schools can also help you down the road when it comes time to sell your home - making it more desirable to potential buyers.
Looking for a home in a particular school district? On the Premier Atlanta Real Estate site, we have an awesome tool to help you search for available homes located near the most popular schools in the area. Check out this link:
Want to do some more homework? Request a copy of the Atlanta Business Chronicle annual school guide. When doing research on schools, I recommend reviewing test scores and visiting schools in person to speak with staff who can then provide you with more information about each school. A good place to start is with the annual Atlanta Business Chronicle School Guide. Send me an email at [email protected] to request a copy and I will mail you one directly.
Are you are ready...
Time and again, I come across a home listing that is well kept, with awesome features, in a great neighborhood... but it just isn't selling.
Buyers will ask, "why has is been on the market so long?" Sellers will ask, "why isn't my house selling?"
And the answer is usually: PRICE.
My job, as your highly skilled real estate professional, is to do the research and give you the tools and information to price your home properly, or to make the appropriate offer on a property. To get that information, I look at factors such as style, size, features, geographic location, schools, etc. in comparison to comparable recently sold (in the last 3 - 6 months) properties. I don't set the price - you don't set the price - THE MARKET SETS THE PRICE.
The goal is to sell the property in the least amount of time for the most money. And your pricing strategy will have a direct effect on your success of selling for the most money in the least amount of time. Statistics show that if you price your property too high, you risk sitting on the market for months. And in the end, you will probably be selling for less than if you priced properly from the beginning, because you will need to do price reductions to offset the perception that there is something wrong with the property. Price your property too low, and you aren't maximizing the potential profit from the sale - and the bidding war you hoped to achieve may never materialize.
Take a look at the snapshot below which demonstrates the effect price has on sales vs. listing price and days on market. Getting the price right from the beginning, is your best bet for selling your home for the most amount of money in the least amount of time.
Are you ready to have a chat about selling your home? I would love to meet with...
Use the tried and true newspaper reporters tool to have a fabulous home buying experience! Answer these five Ws and one H to buy your next home with confidence and success!
Why Do You Want A New Home?
The first, and most important question you need to ask yourself is “Why do I want to move?”. Your reason or motivation for moving will drive the rest of the process and will help you answer the rest of the questions. Maybe you are taking a new job in a new city. Maybe you want to be closer to the grandkids. Maybe your family is growing and you need more space. Or maybe you are just ready for new home. Whatever the reason you have for moving, it is the right reason, and it will play a key role in helping you make those key home buying decisions. Figure out your big “WHY” and then keep that as the focus during your house hunting.
How Much Do You Want To Spend?
This will be one of the most expensive purchases you will ever make so you need to begin with a discussion about financing. ALL HOME BUYERS NEED TO MEET WITH THEIR BANKER OR A LENDER BEFORE LOOKING AT ANY HOMES! Pardon my “shouting” - but having your financial ducks in a row before embarking on the home buying process is a crucial step you should take to ensure you start off the process on the right foot. If paying cash, your banker can discuss the status of your accounts, your budget, and provide you with a letter verifying you have the funds available to purchase a home. If financing with a mortgage, the lender can help determine your budget and provide information on the various loan programs available to you, as well as providing documentation of your pre-qualification. The professionals can also help you determine if it is not quite the right time, financially, to purchase...
You have searched and searched and finally found that perfect home to purchase... what is the next step? As soon as you have a property under contract the next important step in the home buying process is conducting an inspection of the property. A home inspection is a valuable tool in evaluating the condition, soundness and safety of the property. The resulting report is a fantastic source of information about the home you are buying, and can highlight items that need to be addressed prior to purchase.
A home inspection should be conducted by a professional, licensed, experienced and highly recommended home inspection contractor. As in every industry, there are good and bad home inspectors. Ask for recommendations from your real estate agent - they have worked with many inspectors and have valuable insights to help with the selection process. Your agent will know which inspectors will provide the best and most useful information and provide excellent customer service, all for a reasonable price. You can also ask trusted family and friends for inspector recommendations. Once a professional is selected, your agent will schedule the inspection, coordinating with the listing agent and home seller.
A home inspection is usually paid for by the buyer. On the day of the inspection, the buyer (along with the buyer's agent) is invited to walk through the property with the inspector so they can verbally discuss and visually point out any findings . The inspector will also provide a written report for the buyer and agent to review, documenting all the things they observed while evaluating the property.
What is usually evaluated as a part of the inspection:
You have probably heard lots of advice about the best time of the year to put your house on the market … “Spring! Sell in the spring, it’s the best time” they will say. But getting a jump on the real estate market may be your best opportunity to come up a winner when selling your home. Here are just a few of the ways listing your home in January and February can benefit you in the home selling race.
Inventory is Low
The holidays did little to slow down the robust real estate market and we find ourselves still deep into a Seller’s Market. What that means is inventory is low and there are not enough homes to meet the demand of the buyers in the current market. This is the case both nationally and locally. According to realtor.com, on a national level, active listings are down a staggering 11% when compared to 2015.* Here in Atlanta, intense demand is resulting in a 12.1% reduction of listings compared to this time last year.
So who remembers their Economics 101 class? Bueller? Bueller? When demand is high and the inventory is low, it is the BEST TIME TO SELL! As long as you follow the professional and knowledgeable advice of your carefully selected listing agent, you will likely be able to get more for your home and sell quickly.
As we head in to the spring months, inventory will inevitably increase. Your home will have more competition, you will have to work extra hard to get the attention of the buyers out shopping. That may mean pricing lower than the house for sale around the corner, making extra updates to your home, and dealing with fickle buyers. Be the star of the show by listing your house in January or February reap the rewards!
People who are house hunting in...
Have you been thinking about buying a new home, but planning to wait til spring? You might want to consider doing your home buying during the holidays... this can be a fantastic time of year for you to find that dream home and get a great deal! Who says the best presents come in small packages? How about a two story with a pool and a fireplace sized package? Let’s talk about a home shopping during the holidays.
Deals! Deals! Deals!
Let’s face it, no one really wants to put their house on the market during the holidays. Listing your home usually means the hassle of prepping the house for sale, and keeping it clean for showings, and scheduling open house events. Now try doing all that while putting up festive decorations, hosting special events, attending school programs, wrapping gifts, and still finding time for work and family. So a seller who has decided it is time to sell is probably finding that prospect a necessity, whether for a employment relocation, a family need, or any number of other reasons.
This is where you, as the buyer, can have some purchasing power. Homes on the market during this time may be ripe for offers under the list price, due to the urgency of the seller to sell. Sellers may be more willing to take care of those inspection items because they need to get moving. And if you have the ability to move quickly, sellers may be very happy to oblige a short escrow period. (one caveat - check with your lender to check for any delays the holidays pose regarding time needed for closing the transaction).
Houses that have been on the market a while will likely try to price drop before or during the holidays to get some action on the home and get it sold before the end of the year. With fewer buyers in the market, sellers are trying everything they can to get...
Summer of 2009 is coming to a close quickly and some of the best deals in a generation are leaving with it. Were you able to capitalize on those deals or are you still waiting for prices to drop? If you're waiting, here is a recap of what you missed and why you may reconsider your position of waiting...and oh yeah...it looks like prices aren't really dropping any more - at least for good properties and especially in the more sought after areas of Atlanta
The average price for a home has dropped 8% in North Fulton since the summer of 2008, but, prices are trending up, sales volume is trending up and inventory is trending down. We are still down in price from the summer of 2008 because pricing continued to decline until February of 2009 (they have been rising since). It seems as though market forces are correcting the market even without the inducements provided by the government and we are really expecting a surge of closings as the $8,000 tax credit expires at the end of November. Whether it gets extended or renewed is up for debate. I hope they renew rather than extend. I think it will induce more sales that way.
Nevertheless, deals are going fast. Unfortunately there are still far too many know-it-alls that think prices in Atlanta are going to be dropping another 15%-20%. I feel bad for these people because they fall into the "clueless" group and will miss the deals. Too bad, but, I suppose I can't convince everyone - nor should I try to, I suppose.
Here are some statistics that indicate real changes for the better in the market:
- Positive year over year closings (more this year than last, sales volume is up).
- Total price declines are continuing to decrease and would almost disappear by precluding condos and townhomes....
The ups and downs (mostly downs) of the market are likely to continue, at least for most of this year and there is a good chance that the next six months will be the hardest summer selling season yet if you are a seller, but, the statistics are definitely showing some important and changing trends that you probably are not hearing about on the news. What we need to look at is one month from one year compared to the same month from a previous year. This counterbalances annual cycles like the ones that we have here in Atlanta. That's the case everywhere, but I digress. An increase in December over November is meaningless to the market as that is the case every year.
Below are a few sales graphs that I want to explain before you read them and then I'll add some further information below them. The first graph is all residential sales volume of single family homes by month. Below that is only new construction sales. The third is all non-new construction sales. Before you look at them, I want to explain why I did this. A few weeks ago, we had a presentation in our office explaining that the median price difference in Atlanta between new construction and similar resale homes was at an all time high of $122,000. This difference in afford ability has created a very interesting scenario in the real estate market in Atlanta that will begin playing out later this year and will mark the beginning of the end of the downturn locally unless something else terrible happens.
Remember this point for later: New construction cannot come down in price while resale home value can drop. It's going to be important to see what's happening in the market.
O.K., let's look at these graphs. The first is all residential single family sales in Metro Atlanta for 2007, 2008: