Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Our Expert on Fox Business!

Rebekah and I attend a meeting once a month with an elite group of Realtors and market advisors to keep abreast of the market, the changes, the expectations for the future, etc. We've always known the information is great. It's our way of staying on top of the market so that we can provide the best service and accurate information to our clients.

Well......Fox Business must have thought the information we receive is good too. Steve Harney is the ring leader of our group. We listen to him via webinar once a month and meet with him in person usually twice a year. He has his own website, http://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/ and Fox Business just interviewed him.
Click on the link below to watch his segment on Fox Business. It's only 3.58 minutes long, but it says the things we are always telling you!  Now.....we consider ourselves your experts. We truly feel we know the market better than most agents, but if our word isn't good enough, listen to Steve!

post signature

Friday, January 14, 2011

Real Estate Auctions

We're seeing more and more homes go to auction these days and thought it might be helpful to put together a list of things to know. Auctions can be tricky, especially if you're going in blind without doing your research first. Melissa and I attended an auction with a client a few months ago. Before we jump into things to know here's a quick video that we took that day: 

1. Before bidding on an auction property,do your homework! When purchasing auction properties, they typically don't allow an inspection or due diligence period. Do any necessary inspecitons prior to bidding on the property. If you don't win the bid, you're out of the money spent on the inspections, but better safe than sorry. If you don't have an inspection first and bid on a property only to find a major issue later down the road and try to back out, you will lose your earnest money and/or any deposits which will hurt the pocket more than the inspection fee).

2. Auctions typically charge a "buyer's premium" that is added on to the sales price. It's normally between 5-10% of the sales price. So if you're the winning bidder at $100,000, they will add 5% to that, to make the total amount $105,000. Keep this in mind when bidding. If you're prequalified to $100,000, then you wouldn't want to bid anymore than $95,000 if there's a 5% premium.

3. Auction properties normally call for more earnest money than the area standard. For example, REDC Auctions call for 5% in earnest money (15% for every additional property purchased). So if you put an auction property under contract for $210,000 ($200k purchase price + $10,000 premium), you're looking at earnest money of $10,500! What a huge amount to risk losing if for some reason you don't close!

4. Closings must typically take place within 30 days of the auction. No excuses! If you don't close by the deadline, then you risk losing your big chunk of earnest money! Doesn't matter if it's the lender's fault or if you only need 3 more days to get it closed. 30 days... that's it.

5. They don't offer financing contingency periods so be sure that you're 130% confident in your lender and make sure the lender knows they only have 30 days to prepare the loan and have it ready to close.

6. Some auction companies require a loan commitment letter from the lender with no conditions if the buyer is obtaining financing to purchase the property. If your lender can't offer a commitment letter with NO conditions, then they require that you use their on site lender.

7. All winning bids must still be approved by the seller. If you're the winning bidder, don't get too excited until you know the bid has been approved. This is where the deal sometimes dies and the property comes back on the market.

8. We've seen some auction companies open the auction back up "one last time" online after they had a winning bid on a property. Seems like they're trying one last time to sell the property at a higher price than what you bid. Not fair, huh?

9. They do allow agents to represent buyers, but you must register your agent when you register. If you don't, then you have to navigate through the auctioin process by yourself. Yikes!

Of course the rules are different depending upon which auction company you're dealing with, but the above mentioned tips are things to look for because they're common amongst the big auction companies in this area! Have questions? Please feel free to email us!

post signature 

Friday, January 7, 2011

An Honest Realtor

Realtors are often laughed at for the terms that they use to describe homes... you know, we sometimes, sugar coat some of the worst features. You've probably seen some of the following phrases before:

Adorable, Cozy, Cottage Like, Dollhouse --- look for a small house, probably less than 1200 sq.ft.

Lots of Potential, Needs TLC, Handyman Special --- look for a house that needs a ton of work

Beautiful View, Lake View, Water View, etc --- look for a house with a view.... if you lean over to a 45 degree angle, hold a mirror up, and squint you might just be able to see some water.

You get the point. So it's quite refreshing when you come across a Realtor who doesn't throw a little sugar in the mix. A straight shooter who wants you to know what you're walking into. Take this "cute" house for example:

It's a 2 bedroom/1 bath home in San Francisco with a whopping 875 square feet. Do we dare call this charming? I think not. So here's what the Realtor used to describe the home. Yes, folks, this was actually input into MLS system:

Needs everything, not just TLC... but everything! Not to be even concidered unless you are a contractor. Still want to see it? Be prepared to walk lightly because you may fall through the floor. Nice roof just a few years old,at least something is good on the thing.

Want to know the craziest part of all? This baby sold for $335,000 (was listed at $350,000). Wow, God bless those buying real estate in San Fran! Come on out to the East Coast and Melissa and I will show you what $300k can buy you here! :)

post signature

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Average Sales Prices in Clayton, Henry & Fayette Counties

Now that 2010 is officially over, it's a good point to review the last 10 years of real estate in the Metro Atlanta area. The following are charts that we have created that show what the average sales price trend looks like for the past decade in Clayton, Henry and Fayette Counties. Hopefully within the next week or so, I'll find time to get in the MLS system and pull trends for other counties such as Coweta, Spalding, and Butts. But for now... check out these charts and see if you can tell when the bottom fell out of the real estate market here on the southside of Atlanta! :)

post signature