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7/22/2014 Getting It Sold With Summer Curb Appeal!

Getting it Sold with Summer Curb Appeal


Summer is one of the most active times in the Atlanta real estate market. You can make your home stand out amongst the others listed in your price point by making sure your home has summer curb appeal.

Let's face it, you need your home to make a good impression so those potential buyers will want to get out of the car and take a look inside. Doing a handful of tasks and low cost additions to improve your home's appeal can make a huge difference.

1. Go down to the street and take a critical look at your property from the perspective of a passer by. Does anything look dated, faded, cluttered, or out of place?
2. Your mailbox area is a great place to plant a few containers of budding annuals like petunias, and the cost is $15 or less.  Also, is your mailbox in good shape? Are the street numbers easy to read? Does the box need to be replaced (which is less than $10) or painted?
3. Power wash the walkway areas and front porch. If there are spots in the driveway, these may need to be addressed as well. It's inexpensive to rent a power washer for the day, or see if you can borrow one from a friend.
4. Remove clutter. Don't leave yard tools, the lawnmower, bikes, or kids toys strewn about.
5. Mow and weed regularly for a fresh and cared-for look.
6. Add color with flowers in other areas, like flower boxes or container gardens that you can put on the steps or near the front door. Make sure your front door area is easy to access and welcoming. A fresh paint job and a new colorful welcome mat can help tremendously.
7. Keep the yard and plants watered. You want everything to look green and fresh, not wilted, tired, or turning brown.
8. Add mulch to flower beds and shrub areas. At just a few dollars a bag, the investment will be well worth it.

If you're getting ready to list your house and you're not sure if your home has enough summer curb appeal, ask your Realtor for insight.

6/16/2014 June is National Homeownership Month!

June is National Homeownership Month!

In celebration of this being National Homeownership Month, take a moment to reflect on your current living arrangement. If you are a homeowner, congratulate yourself on attaining what many feel is one of the American dreams. It's easy, in our busy lives, to start taking such an achievement for granted, but you have made an investment in your future and should be proud of yourself.

If you are hoping to buy your first home or a different home this year, June is an excellent time to be assessing the Atlanta real estate market and conducting research about neighborhood price ranges and where you desire to live. Summer is a very active time to buy or sell real estate. Thanks to the Internet, there are now so many ways to begin your home search from the comfort of your home. We even offer a home search feature on our site here. Think about and research other factors as well--how does the school district compare to others in the area, what is the crime rate, how long would your morning commute be to your job, are property values going up, down or remaining steady in that neighborhood.

The Internet can be a great source for gathering information beyond just homes currently listed for sale. Or you can enlist the help of a qualified real estate agent to find a home containing your wish list--all while meeting those often important requirements of school ratings, crime rates, property values, etc. A Realtor will know this information or have ways to quickly access this information.

To your home-hunting success this summer!

6/9/2014 Summer Selling Season

Taking Advantage of the Summer Selling Season

While several of our local schools let out for the summer a bit later than usual (thanks to a few bad winter storms), summer is now in full bloom. Summer vacations are being taken, swimming pools are being filled for use over the summer and parents are often having to adjust schedules with the kids being at home.

Summer is also a prime time for switching residences. The National Association of Realtors polled agents and they felt 50 percent of all home sales happen in the summer. If you're a home seller in Atlanta, the timing could not be better. Home inventories in nearly every price point are too low, it's a seller's market and we're in prime home-selling season.

It's time to assess what might need to be improved on your property (fresh paint, landscaping, paring down the amount of furniture, etc.) and contact a real estate professional to get a fair and accurate value of your home's worth. It's always best to interview more than one agent and be sure you are working with a full-time agent from a company with a good reputation. Picking the right agent who has a solid track record and a marketing plan for your property will go a long way in getting your home sold quickly.

To your summer sales success!

5/9/2014 A Tribute To Our Moms

Moms Are What Makes a Place Feel More Like Home

With Mother's Day coming up this weekend, we wanted to take a moment here at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta to pay special tribute to mothers everywhere. Moms are, more often than not, the glue that holds the family together. She's organized, she's a multi-tasker and she's got an incredible memory!

Mothers are what makes a place feel more like a home, with all those homey added touches like family photos, curtains, and decorating. Every mother must wear many, many hats to get her family through the average week.

So this year, make sure mothers of all ages feel special and appreciated; it doesn't even have to be your mother or the mother of your children. If you know someone who is an incredible mom, let them know. And from all of us here at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta, have a very happy Mother's Day!

5/2/2014 Kentucky Derby vs. Home Buying

How the Kentucky Derby Applies to Home Buying

Finding that perfect home in today's competitive real estate market can be a bit like the running of the Kentucky Derby this past weekend--one must be fast, sure and ready to take advantage of the slightest opportunity. Called the fastest two minutes in sports, this famous horse race is bound by tradition and much fanfare. In searching for your next place to call home, we suggest you take a bit more time to find your match!

Such an important race requires a good deal of advance preparation--for the horse, the jockey, even the track itself. Buying a home also requires preparation--saving for a down payment, checking and maintaining a good credit rating, getting pre-approved for a mortgage so you know how much home you can buy, thinking about your must-have home features, deciding on the ideal area.

Throughout preparation for the Kentucky Derby, owners of these multi-million dollar horses rely on trainers to get the most out of their investments. In buying real estate, your most valuable asset will be an experienced, knowledgeable real estate agent to guide you through new properties coming on the market, the contract negotiation process, doing your due diligence on the perspective property, etc. And if you are a first-time home buyer, it is especially recommended to have someone to guide you through the complicated buying process. A buyer's agent will always be in your corner, looking out for your best interests throughout the process.

If we can be of assistance to you in any way, please contact our RE/MAX Greater Atlanta office at 770-973-9700. 

4/9/2014 2014 Atlanta Real Estate Market 1st Qtr

First Quarter 2014 Atlanta Real Estate Market

The metro Atlanta real estate market is continuing its upward trend—something we started reporting on our blog more than a year ago. Housing starts are at the highest they have been in years in metro Atlanta and you have probably seen signs for new home communities popping up in many areas.

According to the February RE/MAX National Housing Report, Atlanta ranked in the top five out of 52 metropolitan areas for year-over-year median sales price, posting an amazing 20.3% increase!

February was the 25th month in a row where the national average median sales price has increased. That’s over two years!

Poor weather conditions throughout a good deal of January and February hampered Atlanta real estate sales, as did low inventory in some price points and neighborhoods.

RE/MAX CEO Margaret Kelly, remarked in the National Housing Report, “The improving economy, increasing new-home construction and significant pent-up demand should all be critical factors as we move into the traditionally stronger sales months of spring and summer. Sales during these months will determine the overall picture for 2014.”

So, if you’re a seller on the fence about selling or you’ve waited over concerns about getting a better sales price, contact RE/MAX Greater Atlanta today to have a Realtor create a competitive market analysis of your home and a listing price. The school year ends in less than two months and that is, traditionally, a time for much higher real estate activity as families want to change addresses and get children settled in before the start of the next school year.

 

Contact RE/MAX Greater Atlanta today at 770-973-9700.

 

3/14/2014 Getting Your Home Ready for Spring

Getting Your Home Ready for Spring

 

With the arrival of March in Georgia, Spring fever sets in with a vengeance! It’s been an unusually long and cold winter, by Atlanta standards, so the promise of warm, sunny weather has most people counting the days. This year, the calendar says Spring officially begins March 20th, but Mother Nature will make her own decisions on that!

 

Here’s what you can do to be ready when Spring hits full force:

 

  • Now is a great time to get that outdoor patio, deck or entertaining area ready for usage. Clean all patio and outdoor furniture as well as the outdoor barbeque grill. Perform some basic landscaping repairs on the lawn, shrubbery, and plants.
  • Make sure the ground around your home slopes away from the foundation wall. Otherwise, Spring rains may result in water draining into your basement.
  • Check outside hose faucets for freeze damage. If, when you turn the water on, you can easily stop the flow of water by placing your thumb over the opening, you may have a damaged pipe inside your home.
  • Check your air conditioning system. It’s never a bad idea to have an annual service done which would include cleaning the coils to run more efficiently.
  • Clean windows, inside and out, in preparation for brighter days ahead. Be sure to do this on a cloudy day because the sun’s rays cause streaking.
  • Check your lawn equipment now before it’s really needed. Clean equipment and sharpened cutting blades will make yard work a more pleasant task.
  • It’s also a good time to tackle your kitchen cabinets. A little reorganization, shelf cleaning and checking of food expiration dates will leave your food storage in good shape to take you through the summer.
  • Late in the month, designate a morning to put away that heavy, seasonal clothing so you can make room for warmer weather gear.
  • Take a little time for organization and decluttering now so you won’t have to spend time on it while racing around with summer activities.

 

And if you’re getting ready to list your home this Spring or Summer, now is an excellent time to assess what needs to be done to give your property—inside and out—a fresh look. Fresh interior and exterior paint, clean carpets and freshly finished hardwood floors, a neat, uncluttered interior and a professional-looking yard with inviting flowers and plants will go a long way toward buyers being able to imagine it as their home. Not sure what needs to be done or the current value of your home? Call a Realtor. You can reach our RE/MAX Greater Atlanta office at 770-973-9700.

3/7/2014 Daylight Savings Time-Sunday

Daylight Savings Begins This Sunday—Set Your Clocks

 

This weekend just got a little busier because you will have one hour less in which to accomplish everything. Daylight Savings Time begins this Sunday so don’t forget to set your clocks forward one hour. It’s always a good idea to check batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, too. Get into the habit of checking these the same weekend you change your clocks twice a year.

 

With the time change, days will be getting longer and all of metro Atlanta will be glad to put this cold winter weather behind us. Spring officially begins March 20. For some of you, it may give you the urge to start looking for a new home. Please be sure to utilize the home search feature on our site to get an idea of what’s available in your price point in the area or school district in which you have the most interest.

 

You can also locate information on upcoming open houses based on geographic area, home size and price point as well as get basic mortgage information and be linked to our preferred lender, a company we truly rely and trust to do the best for our real estate clients.

 

As always, if you prefer to speak to someone directly, call our RE/MAX Greater Atlanta today at 770-973-9700 if we can be of assistance.

2/28/2014 What the Olympics Can Teach You About Real Estate

1. It’s a competitive market. Listing inventory has slightly improved, but the competition for move-in ready homes in desirable school districts is still high. If you know you’ve found your dream home when you walk in, don’t hesitate to make an offer. If you do, you may regret it.

2. Do your due diligence…and having a real estate agent vs. buying on your own will help with that. Just as those Olympic downhill skiers would not have raced down the mountain without inspecting and learning about the course first, you should proceed with caution as well. Due diligence is basically about doing your homework about the property before you close—learn about the neighborhood, the school district, get a home inspection, figure out what your insurance will cost, etc.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Just about every athlete at the recent Olympic games had help from one or more people—a coach, a trainer, a physical therapist, a doctor, etc.  Buying or selling a home can be a daunting process. This sense of overwhelm doubles if you’re trying to accomplish both at the same time. Enlist the help of a full-time real estate professional who specializes in your area and/or price point. Realtors can protect you from things you never even knew you needed protection from—additional stipulations in contracts, property line disputes, negotiations, etc. Agents are also an invaluable source for other reputable people in the industry—mortgage professionals, home inspectors, contractors.

4. Have grace in victory or defeat. We have witnessed some ugly negotiation processes and closings. Like the Olympics, this is an emotionally charged time, as buying a home will probably be the largest purchase of your life. Like the athletes, you may have waited years for this moment to happen. Remember it without embarrassment, no matter what tactics are being used in the other side of the transaction. So they wouldn’t leave the swing set in the yard for you or they had to extend the closing a few days. In the grand scheme of things, it won’t matter.

5. Hard work does pay off. You may have worked a long time to save up your down payment or improve your credit so you could qualify for a mortgage. You have created that list of must-haves in your next home and you’ve narrowed down the area in which you would like to live. Now it’s time to go out there with your Realtor and find that next place to call home!

1/31/2014 Atlanta Survives SnowJam 2014

Atlanta Survives Worst Storm in Years with Helping Spirit

 

As we end this week, we hope everyone in metro Atlanta made it through the snowstorm earlier this week without too much inconvenience. Clearly, Atlanta still has a ways to go to be prepared for such events, especially on our major highways and interstates. A few of our agents at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta spent the night at the office and one of our owners spent about seven hours getting home.

 

However, one of the things we wanted to point out and take away from this “perfect storm” that has its own hash tag, #SnowJam2014, is the extraordinary spirit of metro Atlantans. We saw and heard about so many great stories of people helping in any small way possible. Some students at Kennesaw State University took food out to stranded motorists on I-75. A locally based fast food chain passed out free sandwiches on several gridlocked sections of local interstates. Total strangers helped each other.


Social media proved extremely helpful as well. We especially loved the story of a total stranger going out to rescue a woman who was eight months pregnant (otherwise, she would have been stranded all night). Or the pictures of the anonymous hot chocolate guys who passed out the beverage to cold and stranded drivers.

While, post-storm, everyone wants to point fingers as to who is to blame, we wanted to be sure the hearty and helpful spirit of metro Atlantans wasn’t lost in all the blame game hype. This giving attitude is just one of the many reasons why we love to live in Atlanta, Georgia.

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