The Atlanta Real Estate Market has increasingly picked back up into a steady stream of interested buyers, and highly motivated sellers over the last 2 years. This year in 2016 however, we find ourselves in a sellers market where sellers are not budging on their terms and we are seeing a lot of highly inflated prices, and homes that need a good amount of renovation all at a “Like New” price. I’ve honestly never seen anything like this in the Atlanta market but, my home town where I originally grew up in Northern NY went through this years ago with the expansion of the local military base but, as many agents and I have recently discussed this seems to be the new trend for Atlanta, and it’s one we are all having to get use to when it comes to explaining to a potential buyer that the home needs a lot of work, the home is being primarily sold as is, it was once used as a rental property, and therefore the Seller really has no idea what the inside of the property even looks like, what’s wrong with it etc….and the potential buyers just like in the REO market of 2008 – 2014 have to be okay with that (Yes, at a price that was paid when they purchased the home 10, 20, 30, and even 40 years ago). Seriously??? The home didn’t have termite damage 10+ years ago, the home didn’t have pipes bursting 10 years ago, Agents know exactly what I’m talking about because my clients come to me for my thoughts all the time (31 years in and around the business) and I tell them I’m just as beyond lost on this subject as they are because, in my opinion it is nothing short of wrong, and teetering on the verge of violating Ethics laws, rules, and regulations that we are all held to in this industry due to the way that it is being done.
The hot areas of Metro Atlanta are the areas where we find corporate growth and high rates of success: Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Suwanee, Duluth, Marietta, Kennesaw, and Sandy Springs. Businesses have flocked to these areas over the last few years, and what that means is there is a higher demand here for both affordable, and luxury Real Estate. The highly awaited and anticipated Suntrust Park that will soon be the new home of the Atlanta Braves along the Smyrna / Vinings / Marietta borders is also bringing home values in those areas up as the economy will continue to thrive due to before, and after game commerce as well as hospitality industry growth which is leading area hotels to renovate, and bring to order things that they have allowed to slide for a few years now since the 2008 Recession began.
Agents specializing in Relocation and Transfers through Corporate affiliations are having a very difficult time in comparison to other agents, and the reason why is because, buyers are picky. Buyers know what they want, and they are still waiting for the right opportunity because, my clients and I are all in agreement; Inflating a listing price to the degree that some are when you can go down the road and purchase a $75k home that doesn’t need nearly as much work and doesn’t have termite damage is a much better investment in the long run. For as nice as it is to be near work, and for as great as it is to know that your clients child is in a Top school do they really want to purchase a home that is going to end up costing them 50k+ just to renovate? I’m honestly thinking like a buyer here, and if I knew about half the things that I can’t disclose about some of my clients listings I would steer clear which leads me to my next point.
My advice to Buyers Agents is to speak wisdom into your buyers – show them that you are looking out for their best interest, and really evaluate the homes that you are walking into, and I’ll even go as far as to say request Sellers Disclosure forms because, getting the hopes and dreams up of your buyers over a property that is going to be a money pit for them is not worth the headaches that they will have unless they are an investor, and want a fix and flip or “As Is” property. If your request for it is rejected – that should be your first clue that something is being hidden or, in the very least – isn’t as it appears to be.