Google “how to choose a Realtor” and your results will be trite, recycled, platitudes (experience, market knowledge, a “go getter,” etc.). The spectrum of competence among Atlanta real estate agents is broad; mediocrity often hides behind name recognition or a non-vetted referral. With so much at stake in buying or selling a home, deciding with whom to place your trust and confidence warrants digging deeper and demanding more. The three A’s – ACCESS, ADVISE and ADVOCACY offer a meaningful framework for evaluating a real estate agent.
Mid-March through June brings the greatest concentration of homebuyers into the market, particularly in the single-family home neighborhoods located in the top school districts. In spring, there is a frenzy as families scramble be settled into a new home before school starts again. Deals can be hard to find. By August, however, the buyer pool has largely evaporated, leaving motivated sellers anxious about the prospect of carrying the home through the holidays and into next year. Late summer and fall often present some very attractive homebuying opportunities.
Sharing with friends and neighbors the details of your personal real estate situation and motivations could come back to bite you.
Open houses have long been a mainstay of residential real estate; an assumed part of every agent’s marketing plan. But are open houses really about selling the home? What really motivates a listing agent to spend a Sunday afternoon welcoming strangers into your home?
A fiduciary is someone legally committed to act solely in the interest of a client; the relationship demands uncompromised loyalty, disclosure, accounting, and confidentiality. A fiduciary is bound to promote and protect the client’s interests, avoiding any self-dealing and all conflicts of interest. As a home buyer or seller, you expect your agent to be 100% in your corner – your fiduciary. It’s commonly-assumed that real estate brokerages and their agents owe a fiduciary duty to their clients. In Georgia, nothing is further from the truth…
Last summer, I interviewed to list a nice, albeit a bit quirky north metro Atlanta home. The seller insisted that the home was worth 25% more than the market indicated it was. In trying to “sell me” on an unrealistic value, he ignored the market data and effectively told me that if I couldn’t get on board with his price, he’d find an agent who could. I knew he would have no problem finding a willing, opportunistic agent to saddle up for the down hill ride…
This article was inspired by a recent conversation with one of my Lynwood Park neighbors. She wondered why everyone wouldn’t just sell to an iBuyer rather than list their home with an agent.
The “iBuyer” is the latest thing in residential real estate. An iBuyer (short for “instant buyer”) is a company that will make an on-the-spot, cash offer to buy your home at a guaranteed price. iBuyers offer liquidity and convenience – you receive a market price for your home, close on the date you select and avoid the time and inconvenience associated with listing and selling the home. Because iBuyers purchase with cash, they can close quickly. Sounds awesome; so what’s the catch?
Most home sellers understand the traditional real estate commission structure. The Listing Agreement provides for half of the (typically 6%) total commission to be paid to an agent bringing a buyer. If the buyer has no agent, however, the listing agent is entitled both sides – the entire 6% commission. The “double dip” opportunity built into the customary commission structure holds the potential for a serious conflict of interest between the listing agent and his/her client where there are two or more competing offers on the home. Don’t get sold out by your agent!
The home selling season (also known a “Spring”) is right around the corner. Selling a home is all business; details matter and “curb appeal” is critical. The exterior is the first and perhaps the most lasting impression buyers will get of your home. Great curb appeal can give your property a distinct edge over its competition. Here are 13 of our most cost-effective curb appeal suggestions. These “bang for the buck” tips will help to sell your home in shortest time and at the highest price.
In many north-metro Atlanta sub-markets, like Brookhaven, Buckhead and Sandy Springs, single-family home sales have slowed; properties are staying on the market longer and sellers are dropping asking prices. Are home values falling or is it simply time for sellers to adjust their expectations?