Wednesday, August 31, 2011

We Love This Townhome...and You Can Own it Cheaper Than You Can Pay in Rent!

Welcome Home to:
3893 Princeton Lakes Pass, Atlanta, GA 30331

The Best Part...It's Only $84,500!
The community is gated and the association fee includes yard maintenance. It's truly a maintenance free lifestyle and a commuters dream! Major interstates, shopping, and dining are literally less than 5 minutes of this home. The home features 2 bedrooms/2.5 bathrooms. Both bedrooms are spacious with walk-in closets and each have their own bathrooms (it's like having two master suites). A foyer welcomes you into the home and leads you into a very open floorplan with a large and sunny living room, spacious dining area, and kitchen with all appliances. There's hardwood floors throughout the main level. A cozy deck is perfect for morning coffee, relaxing for dinner, or entertaining. Other features include smooth ceilings, a laundry room with cabinets, one car garage with automatic opener, and covered front porch.

To see more photos and info click the link -----

We had a lender draw up some numbers on this house and it's incredible! You can own this home for cheaper than rent....whether it's a conventional loan, FHA loan, or VA loan the approximate montly payment is between $600-$650 including taxes and insurance. This is a steal!

To set up a showing, don't hesitate to call or email.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Discounted Competition is About to Enter the Market! Sell Your Home Now!

If you have your home on the market and it hasn't sold yet, you should get real serious about selling it. If you need to sell your home, put it on the market right now. Don't wait! Look at the graphic below and you'll see why! We're not making this stuff's real!

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Graphic courtesy of KCM Blog, Steve Harney

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Real Estate in Numbers: Clayton, Henry, and Fayette County - # of Sales/Average Sales Price

In reviewing statistics from the Georgia MLS system, I put together a little graphic that reflects the changes in the market for the first and second quarter of 2011. To the right of the chart, I show what the average sales price was for each county for the second quarter of 2010 in comparison with the second quarter of 2011 and as you will notice, the Clayton, Fayette, and Henry County real estate market have all experienced depreciation since last year. If you review the quarterly numbers for 2011 so far, you will see that our market values are still continuing to decline with the exception of Fayette County as it experienced a very slight increase in average sales price; however, the county has still depreciated from 2010 to 2011. The good news is that the number of sales for the second quarter increased in all three counties from the first quarter to the second, although that's somewhat normal coming out of the winter months and going into the spring/summer. We expect to see further depreciation for the remainder of this year so if you're looking to sell your home and it's a must, then you may want to consider selling now before the numbers drop any lower!

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Crime, Schools, Registered Sex Offenders - Henry, Clayton, Fayette,etc.

When a buyer identifies a property that they are interested in purchasing, they often want to research the subdivision/neighborhood before moving forward and ask question such as

  • "Are there any sexual offenders in the area?"  
  • "What is crime like in this area?"
  • "What are the local schools like? Are they good?"
  • "Are there any children in the subdivision that my kids can play with?"
A smart buyer looks into these things rather than just purchasing any house that they fall in love with. While some of these things may be more important to one buyer than to another - it's always smart to do research before pursuing a property... but how? Where do you find this information, especially if you're not familiar with the area? Here are a few suggestions...

Local Police Department Websites: Check your local police department's website for crime information. Some may provide crime maps and crime statistics. If they don't have information online, call the local police department. Here are some links that you may find helpful:
              Clayton County: Request for Crime Statistics
              Fayette County: Fayette County Crime Map
              Henry County: Henry County Crime Map

Sex Offenders: There are several websites that provide information on registered sex offenders and some of the crime maps above include this information. The following is a link to the GA Bureau of Investigation's Georgia Sex Offender List:  Georgia Sex Offender List via Georgia Bureau of Investigation

Schools: There are many ways to research local schools. You can start on the internet and if it's really important to you, you can visit the school itself and set up a meeting with the principal to ask questions, tour the school, etc. Check the Georgia Department of Education's website for test scores, check out the individual school's website to see what they have going on and see photos of recent events, search for parent reviews online (after all, parent reviews give us a behind the scenes look (with a grain of salt of course!). Here are some links that may help you research the local schools:
              Georgia Department of Education
              School Reports via GA Dept. of Education
              Atlanta Journal Constitution Schools Guide
              Clayton County Board of Education
              Coweta County Board of Education
              Fayette County Board of Education
              Henry County Board of Education
              Rockdale County Board of Education

Neighborhood/Subdivision:  Unfortunately there's not a website that you can visit to give you stats on individual subdivisions and neighborhoods. If you want to know certain things about it, you'll have to check into it yourself. Your Realtor should be able to help you with some things such as information on the homeowner's association and fees, covenants and restrictions, etc; however, it's always recommended that a buyer drive through a subdivision of interest several times and at different times of the day to make sure it's a place that he/she wants to live. It may seem like a quiet, quaint subdivision on a Monday afternoon but what is it like on a Friday or Saturday night? Are there cars parked on the street all night? It may be helpful for you to walk the neighborhood on a weekend or evening to chat with neighbors out walking, working in their yards, etc. Neighbors will always be quick to give you the scoop in the subdivision!


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Friday, August 19, 2011

Don't Wait to Buy! Seriously!

Did it make sense to wait? We think not! Don't listen to everyone saying prices are going to go even lower.....they might....but they might not. We are very close to the bottom in our opinion. We may see a slight bit of depreciation over the next 6-12 months from the onset of "shadow inventory" (the foreclosures and pending foreclosures that will eventually hit the market), however, if interest rates go up you don't save! Enough said? Call or email if you want to discuss this more. Otherwise, get to house hunting....immediately! There's never been a better time.

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Graphic courtesy of KCM Blog, Steve Harney

Monday, August 15, 2011

For Sale By Owner? NO, NO, NO.....Read Why!

Don't Try to Sell Your Home Yourself! This is what we believe....and apparently so does the founder and former owner of "By Owner." Take it from him, hire a Realtor (and a good one, like us). See the article below: Founder Uses Agent to Sell Home

The founder of a popular for-sale by owner website used a real estate broker to help sell his 2,000-square-foot, two-bedroom New York apartment after it lingered on the market for six months. Colby Sambrotto, the founder and former chief operating officer of, tried to sell the property himself by listing it online and through classified ads, but after six months of it sitting on the market, he sought the help of a real estate broker.

Broker Jesse Buckler told Sambrotto the condo was priced too low and wasn’t attracting the right buyer for the condo.

"At first he wouldn't let me increase the price," Buckler said. "I told him I know what I am doing—the market is picking up."

The condo soon attracted multiple offers and ended up closing recently for $150,000 more than the original asking price.

Source: “DIY Guru Gets Broker Help,” The Wall Street Journal (Aug. 3, 2011)

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

What If You Could Buy Shoes......

What if there was a shoe store that had:

■ An unparalleled selection of shoes of every size, color, and price range

■ The shoes were discounted 30% or more

■ You had a credit card that would finance the shoes for 30 years at 4.5%

How many shoes would you buy? My bet is there would be a line around the block. Well, today, real estate is like that shoe store (incredible selection, terrific bargains and excellent financing terms). But there's more....

■ Shoes go in and out of style. Homeownership is still the American Dream.

■ Shoes are worth less once you wear them. Homes will appreciate in value over time.

■ Shoes get disposed of. Homes are lasting.

And while many can recount memories created in certain shoes, everyone can remember their first home, their first family gathering, the countless holidays shared. There is also the ability to decorate to your tastes, the stability (and lower crime rate) in homeownership neighborhoods and the higher level of education achieved by kids who grow up there.

If you'd stand in line to buy shoes, what’s stopping you from exploring a home? Despite some media perceptions, there is mortgage money available with reasonable down payment requirements at extremely low to a loan officer. There are some great deals out there with short sales, foreclosures and regular transactions also!

Happy Shopping!

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This blog is courtesy of KCM Blog, Steve Harney

Friday, August 5, 2011

Real Estate Marketing at it's Finest!

Do not judge a book by it's cover... 
but do judge a Realtor by the sign that they put in your front yard.

We showed properties today and pulled up in the driveway of a nice home to find this...

And to think that we preach to our clients about the value of curb appeal. What would they say if we stuck this pathetic little sign in their yard after talking to them about curb appeal and first impressions?.

Disclaimer: Agents are independent contractors of the brokerage firm that they work under. This funny
little sign is not a reflection of Solid Source Realty as a whole and is just an instance of poor
marketing on behalf of the listing agent whose identity has not been revealed.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Multiple Offers - Highest and Best - OH MY!

In our market, many buyers find themselves in a "multiple offer" situation, or a "highest and best" situation. Generally speaking, for a buyer, this situation can be emotional and upsetting and sometimes just downright confusing. In this blog I hope to shine some light on the "situation" of multiple offers.


Most "highest and best" offer situations are called for by a bank owned property, commonly known as a foreclosure or REO property. I have seen some individual sellers do this when they have multiple offers, but more often this is a foreclosure procedure.


A "highest and best" situation occurs when there are multiple offers on a property. There can be as little as just two offers up to as many as one can imagine. We've seen situations where there are 8-10 offers if a property is really hot.


While it is said by many that mutiple offers sitatuions are a scam or an unfair thing, the principle behind this procedure really isn't a bad one. When sellers have multiple offers they generally feel that it's fair to offer all the parties who have made offers one final chance to give their best offer. Most buyers do not make their best offer as their first offer. We all want to negotiate! If you found a home listed at $100k for example, but wanted to make an offer, you generally aren't going to offer the full 100k right? You'll probably offer 90k hoping to settle somewhere in the middle. You may even pay full price for the house if you like it enough right? If the seller just looked at everyone's initial offer a lot of people would be disappointed. To give you a fair chance at giving your best offer when there are multiple offers a seller will let you know that they are requesting your "highest and best" offer. It's a win-win for both the seller and the buyer. If it works out right the seller gets the best price for the house and the buyer gets the house they want.


Just a few other general pieces of information about "highest and best" situations:

1. You usually have 24-48 hours to submit your best offer. Pay attention to the deadline; once it has passed, it's done.

2. Try to keep the emotion out of it. Make a logical decision about your "highest and best" offer. Don't offer too much if the house isn't worth it just to win the offer if you know you shouldn't be paying that much for it. Sometimes competitiveness gets the best of buyers. Likewise, don't be silly and stick with a lower bid if you know the house is worth more, or if you know you'll be heartbroken if you don't win it out.

3. There are no guarantees. Just when you think you've made the best offer, someone makes a better one. It's incredible what buyers do in this market, especially on houses that are great buys. It's not uncommon to see houses sell for over list price. We've had several of these situations this year. One home was listed for $82,000 and ended up with a high bid of $91,000. One was listed for $399,900 and ended up with a high bid of $435,000. It happens on the low end and the high end! It's a crazy market.

4. DON'T GET MAD AT YOUR REALTOR! Haha - I just had to put that one in CAPS. We can't control these situations. We can't predict what other buyers are going to offer. We also can't really advise you as to what a winning bid might consist of or how high we think you should go. Just work closely with your Realtor to make your best offer. If you made the best offer you believe you could have made, win or lose the bid, you can't be mad.

5. There are other things to negotiate besides just price. Keep in mind there are several things to negotiate when you are negotiating a highest and best offer. While price generally speaks the loudest, closing costs, closing date, the amount of earnest money, and the type of financing (just to name a few) all count for something. For example, if Buyer A offers $3,000 more in price than Buyer B, but doesn't want to close for 60 days and wants $5,000 in closing costs then Buyer B may be the more attractive offer (assuming Buyer B wants to close sooner and asks for less in closing costs).

6. If you see a house you like, go view it asap! Don't wait! Get your offer in on it as fast as you can! Sometimes this whole situation can be avoided if you just act on it before every one else does.

We are very seasoned in highest and best/multiple situations. If you find yourself in one, we hope you have a good Realtor to guide you through the process. If not, give us a call or email. We're happy to help.
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