We have had one of our busiest winters ever in the Atlanta real estate market. With prices rising, many sellers realized that they again had equity in their homes and were ABLE to sell. So those who had waited through the depressed housing years (since 2008) were suddenly in a position to be able to move. Buyers were eager to purchase before home prices rose even more. As a result, we had record home sales. Demand in many areas of Atlanta exceed inventory, so some sellers who didn’t want to turn down a great offer for their home even moved into a rental when they couldn’t find the “right” place to move into. So there’s much pent up demand for homes to purchase this Spring.
If you are thinking of selling your home, there’s no time like the present. The sooner the better, for many sellers wait until the Spring to sell – and as the season proceeds, you’ll have more and more competition. We have a lot of “shadow inventory” poised to hit the market in late Spring and Summer; you’d like to avoid as much of that extra competition as you can.
Even with the buyer demand high, no one wants to overpay for a home so pricing is KEY. We see competing offers for some homes, but those that are priced too high are receiving no offers at all and actually eventually net LESS. The longer a home sits on the market, the less it is worth in the eyes of a buyer. We can work with you to determine the ideal initial list price to bring you the highest return.
To prepare for listing, remember that first impressions are key. A buyer will often decide from the street that they love or dislike a particular home; in fact, they will often tell us to “keep driving” if they don’t like the curb appeal. So trim your trees and bushes and pressure wash your driveway, front walk, house, and deck or patio. Clean and even repaint your front door and make sure the key works easily. Have a nice, fresh welcome mat. Buyers will linger with us at the front door while we open the lockbox for access, and they have extra time to notice these details.
Do your Spring cleaning NOW if you haven’t already. And declutter, declutter, declutter. Go through all your furniture, decorative items, and closets with a ruthless eye. We have stagers and declutterers who help us prepare your home for sale – but start with the initial sweep immediately. The savvy seller will remove half of all items in a closet and have nothing on the floor, for instance. It sounds drastic, but it works. Pack up everything you want to keep and take it to a storage unit or call in a company that will deliver a storage pod and then take it offsite for you.
Repaint to freshen up where needed; if you have any carpeting, get it cleaned. If you know that a home inspector is going to find anything that needs to be fixed – go ahead and fix it now. We have great contractor references if you need them. It makes more sense to do the repairs first – a buyer may end up asking you to spend $300 on a repair you can do now for $100.
CALL US NOW if you are thinking of selling your home. We can help you through the preparations and price your home correctly to sell at top dollar – it’s what we do! And we’d love to hear from you.
Mary Anne Walser is a licensed attorney and full-time REALTOR, serving buyers and sellers in all areas of Metro Atlanta. Her knowledge of residential real estate and her legal expertise allow her to offer great value to her clients. Mary Anne serves on the Committee that drafts and reviews the contracts utilized by all REALTORS in the State of Georgia. In addition, she is a member of the Atlanta Board of Realtors, the Georgia Association of Realtors, the State Bar of Georgia and the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers. Contact Mary Anne at 404-277-3527, or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.