Start Your Property Search


Housing Prices Continue to Climb. Should You Wait to Sell?

Interested in selling your home? You might have questions about timing.

Have home prices peaked? Is it currently the best time to sell your house? Or should you wait for another six months or a year, with the hope that home prices will rise further?

Unless you own a crystal ball, there’s no way to know where home prices are headed. We see that home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased by 6.8 percent in April 2015 compared with April 2014, according to CoreLogic, a property research firm.

News about the Atlanta real estate market is generally upbeat. Atlanta is the third fastest-growing market in the U.S for new homes, posting sales gains of 10 percent from a year ago.  What’s more, the median sales price for Atlanta homes is $262,500, up 6.4 percent since the same time a year...

10 Overlooked (and Easy) Ways to Prepare Your Home for Sale

10 overlooked way to prepare your Atlanta home for saleYou want your home to stand out when you list it for sale, but you’re not a design expert. You may watch HGTV on occasion to get some ideas, but every time you do, you feel overwhelmed. The average busy person just doesn’t have the skill or the time to tackle most of the projects they show.

Fear not, intrepid homeowner — there are 10 easy things you can do to make sure your house impresses potential buyers, and you don’t need a ton of time or an extensive tool collection to do them.

1. Make It Sparkle

It’s easy to overlook the little things when you’re getting your house ready for sale. You may clean the windows, polish the hardwood floors and put a fresh coat of paint on the walls, but sometimes...

The Ultimate Guide to Selling a Home

selling a homeFor most of us, listing a home is the biggest sale we’ll ever make. No pressure there!

Putting a house or condo on the market doesn’t have to be a stomach churner. Experienced real estate agents, like The Keen Team, can guide you through this step-by-step process. Here are a few tips that can help you understand what's ahead.

Prepare to Succeed

Prepping your house for sale means denuding it of “you,” so buyers can imagine “them” living in the home.

Put away photos, kiddy artwork, and that ugly vase Aunt Bertha gave you for Christmas. Clear all clutter, replace stained carpeting, and refinish scratched floors. If you’re confused about what should stay and go, ask your real estate agent, who knows how a saleable house looks, feels and smells.


The Risks of 'For Sale by Owner' and 'Lease-Purchase' Agreements

lease option lease purchase for sale by owner
If you're thinking about selling your home, you might be entertaining two outside-of-the-box ideas: listing your home FSBO (for sale by owner) or renting out your home on a lease-purchase (or lease-option) agreement.

But both of these options are more complicated than meets the eye.

In this article, we'll walk through the nuances of both of these choices to explain some of the risks that you may not have considered.

In fairness, we'll also elaborate on the benefits, too, and give you tips if you're considering making a move in one of these directions.

The Risks of FSBO

At first glance, selling your house yourself seems like a money-saving idea. After all, you won’t have...

I’m Worried My House Might Not Appraise

house appraisalAre you selling your home?

Home sellers have plenty of concerns, including pricing, inspections, renovations and staging. The last thing sellers should need to worry about is the appraisal.

Unfortunately, many sellers are robbed of sleep by the threat of receiving a property appraisal that undermines your contract price.

And sellers are right to worry about this, because appraising a house is as much art as science (actually mathematics).

But if you’ve set a realistic price – a good real estate agent can help you there -- you should be able to receive an appraisal that helps seal the deal.

To ease your concerns, let's chat about a few appraisal basics, including:

  • What's an appraisal?
  • Can you influence...

How to Stage Your Home Like the Pros

Stage Your HomeYou've seen the house flippers on HGTV use staging techniques to make empty properties look lived-in, but as a homeowner trying to sell your house, you’ve already got plenty of stuff. Do you really need to bother "staging" it?

In a word: Yes.

According to the Real Estate Staging Association, professionally staged homes sell 73 percent faster and often garner a higher selling price. That’s because staging is all about showing off your home’s best features while eliminating or reframing as many downsides as possible. Just as you’d dress up a little nicer for a date you really wanted to impress, dressing your home up can help make potential buyers fall in love with it.

And you don’t need to hire a professional to achieve results. Here are...

In the Business, We Call It "Show Quality"

Show qualitySelling a home can be a real pain in the butt.

I talk with a lot of folks who are considering selling their home, but just don’t have the time. Or they want to sell, but don’t know where to begin.

Experience tells me they're referring to upgrading their house from its average, everyday living condition, to a condition that sells. All the cleaning and painting and purging and organizing can quickly overwhelm even the most motivated would-be home seller.  

On the other hand, there are those sellers who  jump head-first into the market without considering how the condition of their home affects the outcome.

In the Business, We Call it "Show Quality"

How well does a home show? How prepared is your home for the market, and...

5 Good Reasons To Sell Your Home Now

5 Good Reasons to Sell Your Home

Several of our clients realize now is a great time to buy a home. In Fact, Ben and I helped more buyers purchase this year than any single year in our careers.

I'm realizing as the year comes to an end, I may have overlooked why the next 3 to 6 months might also be a great time to sell.

There are 5 good reasons I believe 2015 will be a good time to sell your home. You'll find them below.

1. Demand

My most recent analysis of the Intown Atlanta Real Estate market shows a 5.2 percent increase in sales when compared to this same time in 2014.

Sales have remained above last year's levels going on 3 years now. There are serious buyers out there, and they're looking for their dream home. It could be yours.

2. Supply...

Tis' Always The Season

I believe in "Karma" and have experienced good deeds coming back to me 10 fold.    What goes around comes around.

As a Seller in this market, it's worth you believing too...

  • Leave a bottle of chilled bottle of wine and a plate of cheese for the Buyers to snack on during during the Home Inspection.
  • Leave the shelving in the garage for the buyer because you don’t need it where you're going.
  • Label the paint so the new owners don’t have to figure it out for themselves.
  • Clean the gutters even though you didn’t agree to in the contract.
  • Leave the house (professionally) clean.
  • Patch hidden holes in the wall and paint.
  • Replace burnt out light bulbs so the Buyer doesn’t have to.
  • Go ahead and repair the broken TP holder the Buyer didn’t notice.
  • Make extra keys and leave 2 garage door openers.
  • Mow the lawn the day before closing.
  • Don’t leave trash on the curb when you...

The 3 "D's":: Deep Clean

A simple system for getting your home market ready is to focus all your attention on what Joshua and I like to call the "3 D's" ::

The final step in successful home staging is not as “clean” as it may seem.  That’s because “clean” is widely interpretable.  Experience has shows the best and worst.  It’s amazing what you can learn about someone from their definition of clean.  Wow.  But  I’ll forego the judgement and get to the point.  When it comes to the definition of clean, there is only one for the purposes of good show quality.   The cornerstone definition of clean when it comes to show quality is "make it cleaner that it ever was and cleaner than it will ever be again".  No dirt, no grim, no liquid, no mildew, no dust, no debris.  Period....

The 3 “D’s” :: Depersonalize

A simple system for getting your home market ready is to focus all your attention on what Joshua and I like to call  the "3 D's" of home staging ::

And the second step in a successful home staging process is to depersonalize. At this point, you’ve likely painted and decluttered your home… it looks great, feels neat and organized.  Now, it’s time to take a close look at the personalization of the space.  Personalization is anything that makes your home distinctly yours and no one else’s.  It’s those things your close family and friends would identify as unmistakably and uniquely yours.  It’s your signature on you personal space.  Personalization is anything that would make a buyer feel “this is not my home- it’s theirs.”  And,...

The 3 "D's" :: Decluttering

A simple system for getting your home market ready is to focus all your attention on what Joshua and I like to call the "3 D's" of home staging ::

And the first step in a successful home staging process is to get rid of the clutter.  Clutter is anything that makes your home (and rooms) look small, cramped, disorganized, busy or untidy. Clutter can be too much furniture, too many photos, piles of mail, too many accessories or even clashing paint colors. Clutter is anything that might distracts your buyer from seeing the good features of your home.

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."


Three Prices for Every Home

Experience shows there are three prices for every home ::

There is the price the buyer would love to pay.
There is the price the seller would love to get.
And there is the price the home will eventually sell at.


Lower Anxiety and Improve Marketability

One of the anxiety highpoints during the sale of a home is waiting for the buyer’s home inspection report.  Though most sellers willingly disclose what they know about their home to any potential buyers ... the concern stems from the inspector finding something that they’re totally unaware of and that it will either cost them a lot of money to correct or the buyer will simply use it to void the contract.

If the inspection does reveal some unknown problem with the home, it’s probably as big a surprise to the buyer who is not as emotionally or financially invested as the seller.   And it's human nature to fear what you don’t understand.  So when a report identifies defects, your buyer may simply opt-out of the home.

A simple solution to the situation is for the seller to have the home inspected prior to putting it on the market.  There is still a risk of becoming surprised by an unknown defect which at that point, would have to be disclosed to potential...

As Seen on TV

When the number of factors coming into play in a phenomenological complex is too large scientific method in most cases fails. One need only think of the weather, in which case the prediction even for a few days ahead is impossible.
- Albert Einstein

Predictions, Predictions, Predictions.  Isn't that what got us into this mess in the first place?


Going Once - Going Twice - Gone!

You've no doubt seen the TV ads or heard the radio commericals promoting Atlanta real estate auctions.  There's no shortage of media coverage surrounding these events.  But the question you should be asking yourself is whether real estate auctions are pushing hype?  Or is there really hope for the average person come out on top as the result of using an auction to buyer and sell real estate?

Selling any piece of property is essentially an auction.  When you list your house for sale, that’s an auction of a sort, it’s simply a one-on-one event.  Meaning you hire an agent to advertise and expose your home to potential buyers on a showing-by-showing basis. 

But what a mass auction does is changes the timing and emotion of a sale.  It creates a focused marketing event, so you’re able to get 200-300 key players in the room in and something happens.


Predictably Irrational

I just finished reading a book called "Predictably Irrational", by Don Ariely. In it, the insightful Duke Univerysity professor unveils the hidden, irrational forces that shape our daily decision making.  It's a great read

There are a few interesting case studies in this book that can be applied to real estate marketing and negotiations. Specifically, Chapter Seven (The High Price of Ownership) covers what is commonly referred to as "The "endowment effect".  Simply put, "the endowment effect" means that when we own something, we begin to value it more than other people do.

The High Price of Real Estate Ownership

There are three fundamental "quirks" of human nature as it applies to real estate:

  • We fall in love with what we already have.  Meaning, as sellers, we always place a higher value on our house than our potential buyer does simply because we've lived it...

Slow-Market Approach to Pricing a Home

The Science of Pricing Real Estate

I often tell my clients pricing a home is NOT an "exact science".   And that axiom is more true today than ever before.  If you want to sell in this market, you have to be prepared to "make the market" rather than "chase the market."  And that might mean pricing your home 3% to 5% below the most recent sale in your neighborhood.

The other option is to price it at market value and wait.

And you could be waiting for a long time. ...

Secrets to Creating Irresistible Demand for Your Home

How do you get your home SOLD in one of the toughest real estate markets since...well...forever?

Simple.  Set a competitive price at before you go on the market and hire an aggressive agent to get qualified buyers through your front door. Seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many agents and sellers don’t know this.

I explain it to all my clients - an attractively priced home pulls in buyers. And in this market, with price pressure from foreclosures, short sales and highly motivated distressed Sellers...this could mean you have to price your home below market value.

I know that's a tough situation for most folks...but let me remind you, more buyers equals more competition. And more competition means that your home will actually sell - which, in reality, is what you're trying to do in the first place.  Isn't it?...

Why Overpricing Doesn't Work

I talk with a lot of potential clients who believe that overpricing will work to their advantage because it will give them ‘bargaining room.’

And when I run into sellers who want to overprice their home, I tell them that although overpricing in a rising market may be appropriate, no one has ever been successful by overpricing in a falling market.

Leaving room to negotiate down on your price isn’t as valuable a negotiating tool as bringing in a greater number of highly motivated buyers....
Blog Navigation

Posts By Category

All Categories Atlanta Foreclosures (48) Atlanta Home Financing (5) Atlanta Short Sales (1) Buying (40) Featured Homes For Sale (7) Intown Atlanta Neighborhoods (12) Intown Daily Foreclosures (14) Intown Daily Homes (30) Investing (49) Kirkwood (1) Main (59) Property Management (3) Recently Sold (1) Renting (1) Schools (1) Selling (31) Stuff To Do (8) User Guide (8)

Posts By Month

Grab Our RSS Feed

Research local schools, including rankings, state report cards and school websites.

Learn more

Gain expert insight into your home's true market value.

Learn more