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Lights, Camera, Listing!

As I mentioned in a previous blog post (here), professional photography can mean the difference in getting buyers through your door or having them discard your home into their pile of “no’s.” But professional photography can only do so much. To ensure your home truly shows its best online and in marketing materials, you need to do the prep work! Below, my checklist for getting your home picture perfect! Focus Your Efforts Photos of kitchens, master bedrooms, master bathrooms, and living rooms tend to be heavily featured in marketing materials and buyers specifically focus on these areas when browsing photos. These areas should be top priority when getting your home photo-rea...

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How Long Does the Buying Process Take?

This is one of the most often asked questions from buyers. The problem is, there is no simple answer. Everyone’s journey is different. Getting Your Finances in Order Before you even visit your first property in person, you might need to spend time examining your credit profile or saving money in order to qualify for a home loan. Checking your credit scores before you begin your home search can help you determine if you need more time to build your credit. (There are various services that allow you to check your credit scores for free, including Credit.com.) The minimum down payment amount for a conventional loan is 3%. FHA is 3.5%. Scraping together enough cash to simply meet those...

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A Short Guide to Short Sales

When the real estate market hit the bottom, the number of short sales reached record highs. Due to the high volume of distressed sellers banks were faced with, and the lack of experience/preparedness, the odds of a short sale making it to the closing table were slim. And if it did make it to closing, it was a several months (and sometimes years) long process. The short sale environment has certainly changed and is much more streamlined now. There are systems, processes, and third party programs to facilitate a smooth transaction. For a buyer looking for a “deal,” a short sale may be a great fit. What exactly is a short sale? A short sale has nothing to do with the time frame in ...

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Don’t Make These Mistakes When Selling Your Home!

With the Spring real estate market quickly approaching, many sellers will be scrambling to get their home ready to put on the market. Around this time, I am often consulted to help sellers decide which home improvement projects will yield the best return, how their home should be staged to show its best, and which maintenance items they should spend their money on. But even the most beautifully staged, impeccably maintained, newly updated home won’t sell if the it’s overpriced. Or the seller is stingy with letting buyers in to see it. This infographic from ActiveRain illustrates some of the top mistakes sellers make. With the selling season upon us, make sure you don’t find yoursel...

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What Fees Do Sellers Pay When Selling Their Home?

This is one of the first questions sellers ask me prior to listing their home. And many are shocked by my response. Commission. That’s pretty much it! In Georgia, the buyer is responsible for the transfer tax on the sale of the property, as well as all attorney and title exam fees. Additionally, if they obtain a loan the buyer will incur closing costs associated with the loan. The seller is only responsible for paying the commission agreed upon between them and their real estate professional. (In Atlanta, this is typically 6% of the contract price.) During the negotiation of the contract, a seller may agree to pay part of the buyer’s closing costs, or offer some concessions i...

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3 Mistakes Buyers Make

Purchasing a home can be extremely rewarding, both financially and personally. But for a first time buyer (or even someone who has purchased before) the process can be extremely stressful. Below, a few common mistakes to avoid when purchasing your home. Not getting preapproved by a mortgage lender. This is by far the most common mistake buyers make. Many buyers think just because they have good credit and a great salary they’ll have no problem qualifying for a home loan. This is simply not true. Aside from these key pieces, buyers also need to show steady employment history (especially those who are considered “independent contractors” or work on commission) and their debt-t...

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13 things to consider when buying a condo

I recently showed a first-time homebuyer his first condo on our home search. We walked into the unit, I turned on the lights, and he just stood there. “What do I do?” he asked. “What am I looking for?” I was a bit taken aback. I show so many condos and most buyers just sort of make themselves at home and start walking through. It was a good opportunity for me to have a refresher in showing property (and gave me a great idea for this blog post!) Condo Considerations HOA dues! How much are they? What do they cover? How will the monthly dues affect how much you can spend? What style of condo are you looking for? The Atlanta condo market has a multitude of available styles...

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Why Professional Photography Makes a Difference

t’s no secret that over 90% of buyers begin their home search online. And with listings being funneled to so many different sites, it’s no surprise that professionally photographed homes are more likely to sell faster and for more money. Online browsing is a critical part of the home-buying process. And with more buyers searching on mobile sites while on-the-go, having professional photos is a must to entice buyers to seek more information on the home. It’s simple. Better photos=more buyers looking at the listing. More exposure= faster sales for more money. Take a look at one of my recent listings. This home was under contract in a matter of days for all cash. These are the ph...

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How to buy a home in a competitive real estate market

With real estate markets continuing to rebound all across the U.S., and the busy spring real estate season approaching, more and more buyers will find themselves in multiple offer situations. Here are three tips for dealing: Make contingency periods as short as possible. Keep your due diligence, financing and appraisal periods short to create less risk for the seller. Work closely with your lender and provide as much info upfront to ensure quick financing and appraisal contingency time frames can be met. Be flexible with the close date. While usually a quicker closing is most appealing to a seller, that might not always be the case. Have your agent pry the other agent for deta...

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Did you remember these tax deductions?

Tax time can be a very confusing time for homeowners! Luckily, Chris Carmichael from Carmichael, Brasher, Tuvell & Co. has you covered! Contact Chris at ccarmichael@cbtcpa.com or 678-775-5461 Buying or selling a home can be expensive. Luckily, the IRS allows for tax deductions for some of the major costs associated with a home. The following items are just a few things to consider when doing your 2013 taxes. Home Mortgage Interest Home Mortgage Interest you paid on your primary residence is tax deductible! If you paid at least $600.00 in home mortgage interest you will receive a 1098 from your lending institution. This form will report the total amount of Home Mortgage Interest yo...

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