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Washers and Dryers, Refrigerators and wine coolers oh my!

There seems to be some confusion out there as to the standard around whether appliances are included in a home's sale.  Some assume “of course they are” and others say “no” but really there is no standard and you’ll find everything from yah to a firm nay when it comes to sellers leaving appliances behind.   Whether you’re a Buyer or Seller, it’s worth understanding the options.

Know before you go.  Before touring a home as a Buyer, check the “Sellers Property Disclosure Statement” - your agent can help you here.  It will often spells out the Sellers intensions around appliances and clearly states if they will be left behind for the new owner.  In turn, it may also state the seller intends to take them in the move.  In a professionally managed sale of a home, the details of what’s included in the sale- like appliances- is often spelled out and readily available when touring a home.  Just ask.  Sellers should be prepared to provide this information...

Getting a Home Loan in 2014

Happy New Year!   And with the ringing in of the New Year comes new, tightened lending standards.  These new standards are mainly a result of an improving economy and although tighter, we’re still talking about very, very good loans. These tighter standards are all part of the economies healing process and should be expected.  As the training wheels are loosened or removed all together (governments slows the purchase of long term bonds), a healthier more stable and robust economy takes it's place- or least that’s the plan. This often equates to tighter standards and higher rates but also equates to lower unemployment and higher wages.

So, what’s needed to get a great loan in 2014 and what changes should be considered?  Well, the basic 4-C’s still apply:  

  • Credit history (credit/FICO scores),
  • Capacity (ability to afford based on your income and debt)
  • Collateral (the home you’re buying)
  • Conditions (how you...

Patience & Planning

Sellers that don't sell in this market are often impatient and shortsighted.

Impatient because they won't invest in the longer term, purposeful planning to get their home "market ready".

And shortsighted, because they get hooked on the erroneous belief that merely because the neighbors house sold for $650,000 in 6 months then that must be what their home is worth. And shortsighted because they believe the price they deserve is all about what they want, not what the buyer (aka "market") is willing to pay.

Selling a home doesn't happen by accident. It takes purposeful planning and a strategic approach to the market to cause a home to sell for the right price on a timeline that works for you and your family.

Selling your home is simple.

Simple. 

But not easy. 

It takes patience and planning.

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Please Invite Me to Your Holiday Party!

It’s that time if year.  You know, the holidays.  And I'm sure you'll, like me, be attending a number of holiday house parties.  The other day I heard an unnamed friend complaining about the parties he had to attend making the comment that he wished he wouldn't get invited anymore because it was "just too much".  He went on and on and on.  Scrooge!

I love holiday parties.  You know why?  Well, of course I enjoy myself and love meeting new people.  But really it’s because they’re memorable.  The festive aura, the lights, the tree and tasty food… the wine.  And, I always meet at least one person or family that can use my help and there’s nothing better than reminiscing with my clients years later about how we met at that holiday party.  We never forget it and for that reason I’m grateful for every invitation.

Happy Holidays!

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How's the Market?

How's the Real Estate Market?

It depends. All real estate is local.

When it comes to examining the real estate market, there are many factors that come into play. In fact, there are so many variables involved with determining the health of the real estate market that it is important to note that there is no such thing as a ìnational real estate market.î Rather, every locality has its own market, which needs to be examined and explored in order to determine the health of the real estate market in that locality.

While the media often makes it seem as if there is a national real estate market, the reality is that buyers don't shop nationally when looking for a home. Similarly, the job market, the local economy and other factors can vary quite significantly from one local market to the next. As such, assessing the health of a local market cannot be determined by looking at national sales. Furthermore, since local economies vary widely, the likelihood of...

The Game Is Rigged

My brother, Adam, is a smart guy. At our sales meeting Friday, on the topic of whether "short sales" are a viable business model, he pointed out how ridiculous it is we're settling for the current state of affairs: politically, economically and otherwise.

He's fed up with media spin and complacency. The lack of "awareness", as he calls it. And he shares his passionate opinions and rants with whoever listens.

And you know what? I agree with him.

But I don't share his passion. 

I'm more "successful" today than I was a year ago.  During this "Great Recession", faced with the the worst real estate market since the Great Depression -- an industry in crisis -- my brothers and I have managed to carve out a decent slice of the "America Dream".  And, at this stage of my life, it just makes more sense to "get to work" than participate in an idle debate of "why" things are the way they...

Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Trying to sell a home that isn't selling is hard work.

And I know that getting these weekly market updates and feedback from showings can sometime leave you scratching your head and thinking... "what next?"

That's why it's important to keep it simple...take the information the market has to offer ... listen carefully ... and take action.

The question we want to be asking is, at it's core, simple...

Are we offering the market the best price and value possible?

In my 10+ years of selling real estate I've found the following to be true in most cases (regardless of market conditions):

If your home is being disqualified before a buyer looks at it (via the MLS or Drive-Bys) and not showing...

  • Your home could be 10%+ overpriced for this current market.

If your home is showing less than once a week (on average) and has been on the market for more than 120 days.......

"Plan B": What To Do When Your House Won't Sell

The most successful people are those who are good at Plan B."

Statistics show just 1 in 3 sellers who list their Atlanta home for sale today will successfully sell within a normal 90 day market timeframe.

I'm not foolin'… the facts are 1 in 3.

So what happens if you're one of the 66% who can't sell?

Well ... you go to "Plan B". 

Here's a quick list of options for sellers who simply can't stand having their home on the market for another day, henceforth known as "Plan B".   I will touch on them here and provide detailed explanation of each option in subsequent posts.

"Plan B" #1: Stay Put

Here's a fact:  on an average week I meet with 5 to 6 potential sellers.   These are people who want to sell their homes.  Of those I meet with ... at least three decide not to sell after talking with me.  The first words out of my mouth when meeting with a seller?  If you don't have to sell ... don't sell. ...

Insider Tips to Buying Your First Home

I recently purchased my first home. I thought I'd share my experience and, hopefully, offer a little perspective, advice and a couple key lessons I've learned as an "insider". The process was quick and easy for me. I found my 15 favorite homes online. We (my buyer's agent and I) took 2 days to look at them all. Out of that 15 I picked my favorite 5, saw them once more and then wrote a contract the next week. Why do I share this? Because I want you to know how convenient buying a home can be when you have the right agent, or in our case, the right team on your side. That brings me to a few key lessons I've learned along the way...

Insider Tip #1 - Chill Out...

Buying a home should be a fun and exciting process. Don't let anxiety and fear rule you while looking for your home. Yes, buying can be an emotional time, but its important that you don't let that emotion take over. Its crucial that you have an expert buyers agent on your side and its even more important that you...

Mad Men for Labor Day

Your compensation for doing your job comes in the form of -- wait for it -- compensation.

Novel concept, ain't it?

Oh ... by the way ... if you don't watch AMCs hit drama; you should.

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You'll Always Remember Your First

This is my first blog post.  And it's the first of many where I'll give you a "behind the scenes" look at the fascinating world of Atlanta Real Estate from a unique (if somewhat cynical) perspective - mine!  I plan to cover a range a topics - some serious ... some not so serious ... all brilliant.   And I'm looking forward to maybe getting to hang out with you in the online world of bloggery and prodigiousness.  Or maybe we’ll get to meet “in real life”, as the kids say, if you do business with my two brothers. Or on Twitter (still trying to figure that place out) @adamkeenrsb — stop by, whenever....

4 Problems of Overpricing

Price Problem #1: Where's the Excitement?

The first problem is... it's hard to get sales people excited.  

And it doesn't make any difference how much marketing you're doing... the problem is the same ... its hard to get sales people excited.

You see ... agents generally know what buyers are willing to pay for similar homes in similar areas in this market right now. 

And when a house is sitting on the market for any length of time not selling, their reaction might be that it's overpriced.  

They won't get excited because they know they can't get their buyers excited.

On the other hand ... when your price your home competitively ... this is what happens:

Agents get excited because they know they can get their buyers excited. 

Excitement is contagious. 

So is apathy. 

You have to ask yourself:

Which emotion am I generating?  Excitement or apathy?
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The Market Is Always Talking

With a steady stream of negative news on the economy and real estate market, I think it's important to mention - despite what the media has to say – we’re selling houses!  

My team and I have closed on 10 houses so far this year and, as we head into the spring season, I expect we'll more than triple that number before the tax credit runs it's course on April 30th.

Sure ... it's a taking a bit longer than it did a couple years and prices are, without a doubt, lower today than they were a year ago.

It's times like this I remind myself:

Selling real estate is simple. 

Simple... but not easy.

And selling real estate, for all it's complexity, boils down to very simple rules and universal truths. 

But to hear the truth about selling ... you've got to "listen" to what the market is saying ... because the...

Enemy #1

Water is the #1 enemy of a home.

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The Free Ride Is Over

Remember last year when all the banks - the big banks - were going broke and we gave them like $700 billion with zero interest and no strings attached so they would have some money to lend back to us at between 6% and 30% interest? But we had to do it ... to avoid a world wide financial market meltdown! - Jon Stewart
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The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c

Failure

Our environment, the world in which we live and work, is a mirror of our attitudes and expectations.
Earl Nightingale

Here, sipping my morning coffee and digesting the news of more Georgia Bank failiures.

What's striking isn't that more banks have failed.

Truth is, I've come to expect news like this. 

And that, to me, is the more compelling story.

It's there, in my approach, that work can be done and change happens.

...

Home Prices Decline by 12% (VIDEO)

Though year over year national home prices show a 12% decline - the month to month report shows a more promising outlook of the current market.


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