Spring Staging Tips to Sell Your North Atlanta Home

Spring is widely considered to be the best season to sell your home, but it’s also the season with the most competition! Here at Wolfert & Wrenn Real Estate Team, we can help you beat out the competition to sell your home quickly and at a great price. Staging helps you show off your home to its best effect and make a great first impression on potential buyers, so check out these spring staging tips gleaned from our years of experience as north Atlanta Realtors.

Lighten up

Spring is a season of fresh starts and sunshine, so make sure your home reflects that. Natural light is a big selling point for most people, so be sure to let your home’s windows play their part. If you have heavy, dark draperies that block out a lot of natural light, consider replacing them with curtains in paler colors and lighter-weight fabrics.

Bring in some spring

We’ve already discussed the importance of spring landscaping to sell your home, but don’t be afraid to bring spring inside as well with fresh cut flowers and potted plants. Real estate agents usually recommend that sellers (a) declutter, removing extraneous accessories and decorative items in favor of clean surfaces, and (b) re-paint the home in light, neutral colors and minimize brightly colored furnishings and decor.

These things allow buyers to see the “bones” of the house better and make it appealing to a wider range of people, but they can also result in a rather boring atmosphere. Fresh flowers and house plants work wonders as home staging tools by adding color and vibrancy to the home. Make sure all cut flowers are fresh and house plants are well-tended. Simple glass or crystal vases are best, and can be placed wherever a room needs something extra, from kitchen counters to coffee tables.

If you’re ready to sell your home, give us a call today or contact us online!

 

What You Need to Know About Closing On Your Home

family at closing

Closing is the last step in a real estate transaction, when the purchase contract is finalized and ownership of the property is officially transferred to the buyer. It’s not uncommon for buyers to have questions about the process, so take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about closing, with information provided by local real estate attorney Scott Mills.

How long will it take to close?

As long as there aren’t any issues with the title, a closing can generally be completed in a week or less, with the actual closing meeting taking an hour at most. As long as the law firm and lender have done the preliminary work, the closing statement will have been reviewed by all parties prior to the actual closing, making it a quick and easy closing.

Will I be able to read the closing documents before signing them?

In order to read the documents prior to closing, the borrowers will usually have to request that their lender provide the closing documents early. Once the documents are have been delivered by the lender, they can be provided to the buyer and seller to review before the closing.

What if I can’t be at the closing?

Sometimes a party will not be able to make the closing and will need a third party to sign. The closing attorney should not sign for any of the parties. Sometimes a Realtor will be given Power of Attorney to sign on behalf of a client, but the best solution is for the absent party to enlist a friend or family member to sign on their behalf.

How much money should I bring to the closing?

Each transaction is different, which is why it’s important to communicate with your lender on exactly how much the closing costs will be. However, if you bring too much or too little to the closing, it’s not the end of the world. If you bring too much, the closing attorney will write you a check for the excess at that time. If you end up falling short of the closing costs, most real estate attorneys will accept a personal check for the difference up tp about $1000. To be safe, check with the closing attorney beforehand.  Also, all amounts over $1000 have to be wired ahead of time.

If you are ready to buy a home in Marietta or one of the other North Atlanta communities we serve here at Wolfert & Wrenn Real Estate, contact us today! We are always glad to help our clients enjoy a smooth, stress-free home buying process.

Spring Events in Marietta

Marietta food festival at Glover ParkThe official beginning of spring is just around the corner, but here in Marietta we are already seeing the signs as trees and flowers blossom all over town. Spring is the perfect time of year to head outside and enjoy the weather, and Marietta delivers with a great calendar of events for all ages.

Upcoming Marietta Events

Marietta Square Farmers Market– Shop locally grown and hand made produce, flowers, honey, preserves, baked goods, herbs, plants, dog biscuits, and much more. Get your knives and tools sharpened, relax with some fresh-squeezed lemonade, or learn about a new veggie or grain from the friendly local vendors.

  • Open Saturday year round, 9 am-noon; open Sunday afternoons starting in April
  • Historic Marietta Square

Sope Creek Spring Fever 5K– Participate in a 5k or a 1-mile family fun run to benefit Sope Creek Elementary School! The 1 mile fun run will take place on campus, while the 5K course meanders through portions of Sibley Forest and Old Paper Mill. There will also be a festival with lots of activities for kids.

  • Saturday, April 26th, 5 pm
  • Sope Creek Elementary School, Marietta
  • Registration fee: $20 before March 25th, $25 after

Taste of Marietta– This annual food festival draws local residents and visitors alike to Marietta Square, where attendees can try dishes from Cobb County restaurants and catering companies. Each “taste” costs $0.50-$5.00. This event is a perfect way to expand your culinary horizons and find some delicious new restaurants in Marietta!

  • Sunday, April 27th, 11 am-7 pm
  • Historic Marietta Square
  • Free admission

May-Retta Daze– Marietta’s vibrant arts community is on full display during this two-day fine arts and crafts festival. In addition to an artist market featuring local and regional talent, the festival also includes live entertainment and children’s activities.

  • Saturday and Sunday, May 3rd-4th
  • Historic Marietta Square
  • Free admission

Photo via Flickr

3 Reasons to Buy a House in the City of Marietta

Marietta Square fountain

City of Marietta real estate is a hot commodity with home buyers, and for good reason! This north Atlanta suburb provides residents with everything you could want in a place to live, whether you are single or have a family. Read on to learn 3 reasons to buy a house within the city limits of Marietta from your north Atlanta real estate agents Barry Wolfert & Lisa Wrenn.

Historic Marietta Square

Life in the city of Marietta, Georgia is centered around the historic Marietta Square. Also known as Glover Park, this scenic centerpiece not only provides a pleasant place to stroll or sit, but also functions as the heart of the town. The Square hosts a variety of events like the Marietta Square Farmers’ Market, free lunchtime yoga, community concerts, and much more. The surrounding blocks are home to some of metro Atlanta’s best shops, restaurants, museums, and theaters, creating a vibrant, walkable city center.

Marietta City Schools

Families looking for a great education for their children often choose to buy a home in Marietta thanks to the excellent Marietta City Schools. This school system includes a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) magnet elementary school, and is one of Georgia’s first Charter School Systems.  Marietta city schools are in a separate school district from those in unincorporated Marietta which are part of the Cobb County School District.

Lowest Taxes in Metro Atlanta

Cobb County has some of the lowest property tax rates in metro Atlanta. In fact, the property taxes are the lowest in any metro Atlanta city with over 10,000 residents.

If you are ready to buy a home in the city of Marietta, contact us today! We are your Marietta real estate team, with the local market knowledge and industry experience to help you successfully sell your home for top dollar.

 

See homes for sale in city of Marietta.

Photo via Wikipedia

What to Look for in a North Atlanta Listing Agent

ID-10059943If you are like most homeowners, your house is your biggest investment and asset.  When it comes time to sell, getting the best price, in a timely manner, is usually a top priority. While selling a home is a complicated process, it can be relatively easy and stress free if you choose an experienced real estate agent.

If you’re looking for a north Atlanta real estate agent to sell your home, these are some important things to look for when choosing a listing agent:

  • Realtors- Not all real estate agents are Realtors, and the differences are substantial. As Realtors, we belong to the National Association of Realtors and follow the NAR’s Code of Ethics. We are required to maintain a higher level of knowledge about the ins and outs of real estate transactions and participate in ongoing education.  Agents who aren’t Realtors do not have to abide by these standards.
  • Brokerage companies- By choosing a Realtor associated with a brokerage firm like Keller Williams, you can be confident that your agent has the appropriate training, partnerships, and technology and marketing tools to provide you with the best possible service.  Keller Williams is now the #1 real estate company in North America and J.D. Power and Associates ranked Keller Williams “Highest in Customer Satisfaction” among both home buyers and home sellers.
  • Market knowledge- Real estate is an ever-changing industry, and what holds true in one city or neighborhood may not in another. That’s why it is so important to hire a real estate agent who has in-depth knowledge of the north Atlanta real estate market.  Intimate knowledge of the market includes knowing what homes feed into the best schools, where businesses are re-locationg and growing and knowing about local attractions/amenities.  These are just as important as knowing the average number of days on market it takes to sell a home and the sales to list price ratio in a given area.

If you are ready to list your home for sale, contact Barry Wolfert and Lisa Wrenn today! With our local market experience, Keller Williams real estate tools, and personal knowledge of Marietta, Roswell, Alpharetta, and other north Fulton and Cobb County communities, we can make your home sale easy and hassle-free.  Contact us now for a free home valuation.

Photo by jannoon028 via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Spring Landscaping Tips to Sell Your Home Faster

flowers at entryway for curb appealSpring is the busiest season for north Atlanta real estate, so if you are thinking of putting your north Fulton or Cobb County home on the market, it’s important to make the most of the season with smart landscaping.

Blooming flowers, green grass, full trees, and warmer weather make spring the optimal time to show your home off in its very best light. To take advantage of the season, check out these landscaping tips for sellers.

Tidy up

Your first priority should be getting your yard looking neat and tidy. Clear out any debris that has accumulated over the fall and winter, like dead leaves and branches. Cut the lawn regularly and use an edger around flower beds and walkways. 

Add mulch or pine straw

Refresh the mulch or pine straw in your yard to give your landscaping a quick rejuvenation. While it may seem like an afterthought, fresh mulch will help your plantings stand out and communicates that you keep up with the maintenance of your home.

Prune where needed

Prune your trees and shrubs, especially if they are encroaching on walkways. Ragged, overgrown trees or dead branches are a clear sign of neglect, which is the opposite of what you want potential buyers to think when they visit your home.

Add color

Take full advantage of spring by adding some beautiful pops of color to your yard with flowers. Annuals are inexpensive and can make a huge difference in your home’s curb appeal, especially when used strategically. Stick to a limited color scheme of 1-3 colors that complement your home, and use them to draw attention to features like the entry walkway and front door.

Play up your outdoor spaces

Use flower beds and planters to create a vibrant first impression in your front yard, as well as to accentuate outdoor living spaces. Spruce up your porches, patio, deck, and pool area with plants, and consider adding some welcoming touches like outdoor cushions on your porch swing or a lantern on the patio dining set.

With regular basic lawn maintenance and a few special touches, your home will look fantastic and be ready to make a big impression on potential home buyers. If you’re ready to sell your home, contact Barry Wolfert and Lisa Wrenn today. We specialize in the north Atlanta real estate markets of Cobb County and north Fulton County, so if you are selling a Marietta, Roswell, Alpharetta, Kennesaw, or Smyrna home, give us a call!

Photo by Peter Stevens via Flickr CC 2.0

Register Now for Spring/Summer Activities in North Atlanta

child with soccer ballThe north Atlanta real estate market has a lot to offer families with children, from excellent local schools to community events and cultural attractions. Another thing Alpharetta, Marietta, Roswell, and other north Fulton and Cobb County communities have in common is an extensive selection of programs and classes offered by their respective parks and recreation departments.

Programs are offered for almost any age, and cover a wide variety of activities, from adult and youth sports leagues, to swimming and golf lessons, to art classes and much more. Registration is open now for many of these art and athletics programs, so find your city and sign up today!

Marietta

In addition to sports leagues, classes, and summer programs, Marietta also has lots of fun community events, many of which center around historic Marietta Square. Upcoming special events in Marietta include:

  • February 9th:  Daddy Daughter Dance
  • February 11th: Yoga on the Square
  • February 28th: Mardigras 5k/1k Race

Alpharetta

Registration recently opened for Alpharetta classes and camps for spring and summer 2014. Priority registration is open now for City of Alpharetta residents and City of Milton residents who participated in the same recreation program during the most recent session. Registration for City of Milton residents starts February 5th, and Open Registration begins on February 12th. Also, check out Wall2Wall sports for a wide variety of camps and activities.

Roswell

Spring enrollment is open for Roswell activities, and summer and fall activity registration is coming up soon. City of Roswell residents can register for summer/fall 2014 activities on March 24th, and others can register on March 31st. There are lots of exciting activities to choose from, including adult and child lessons and sports leagues, from sand volleyball and stand up paddle boarding to parents’ morning out and family karate.

If you’re still looking for the perfect place to settle down in north Atlanta, call Barry Wolfert & Lisa Wrenn today! We live, work, and play in north Atlanta, so we have the experience and market knowledge to help you find a home you’ll love in a community you’ll love even more.

Photo by Chip Griffin via Flickr CC 2.0

 

When Is the Best Time to Sell Your Home?

painted kitchen remodelAs experienced north Atlanta real estate agents, we often get questions about selling real estate and how to get the most for your home. There are many common misconceptions out there that can hold you back, and one of them is the idea that there is a certain season for selling your home.

While it’s true that spring is the busy season for home sales, that doesn’t mean you should wait to list your Fulton or Cobb County home for sale. The best time to sell your home is now! Even in the “off” season, you can sell your home for a great price because the buyers you will encounter are likely to be highly motivated. If you’re ready to sell, don’t wait. Give Barry Wolfert & Lisa Wrenn a call today to get a free market analysis of your home.

Of course, your home might need some work to get it ready to sell. If that’s the case, don’t delay in getting started. As spring approaches, the home improvement bug catches on and you will have more competition for booking services like house painting, siding replacement, pressure washing, roofing, cabinet and floor refinishing, carpet cleaning, etc. Get your home freshened up as soon as possible so your north Atlanta Realtors can get to work selling your home.

Home Seller To Do List:

  • Deep clean your home, especially the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Have your home painted, preferably in a light, neutral color. This will make your home seem cleaner, more spacious, and more appealing to a wide range of buyers.
  • Declutter, declutter, declutter! Make sure all counters are clean and emptied of mail, knick knacks, and small appliances. You may even want to put some of your furniture in storage to make the rooms look bigger.

With our north Atlanta real estate team, you can count on a hassle-free experience and getting a great price for your home. Contact us to discuss selling your Marietta, Roswell, Alpharetta, Smyrna, Kennesaw, Acworth, or Woodstock home.

 

Photo by Barbara Raskauskas via Flickr CC 2.0

Consumer Confidence on The Rise; Housing Market Outlook Positive

If you’ve been thinking of buying a home in North Atlanta, it’s still a great time to get a good interest rate on your home loan. 

consumer confidence in real estate

Market conditions

The Fed has been purchasing $85 billion per month in Bonds and Treasuries to stimulate the economy, but starting now, those purchases will decrease. The new rates of purchase will be $40 billion in Treasuries and $35 billion in Mortgage Bonds, which directly affect home loan rates. This could indicate a further tapering of Bond and Treasury purchases, dependent on economic factors.

While consumer confidence declined in October and November due to the government shutdown, it rose again to 78.1% in December. Other indicators are also looking up, including the S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Index, which rose by 13.6% year-over-year in October. Pending home sales were also up in November, and the number of new home sales for October reached 474,000, the highest since mid 2008 and a clear sign of continued improvement in the residential real estate market.

How will this affect mortgage rates?

The Fed may further taper its purchase of Mortgage Bonds in 2014, depending on economic reports, yet current home loan rates are in a good place, especially compared to historical levels. What does this mean for you? Well, if you’re considering buying  a home in north Atlanta, now is a great time.

If you are ready to buy a home, you’ll find it easier and hassle free with the help of experienced north Atlanta real estate agents. Contact Barry Wolfert and Lisa Wrenn to take advantage of our extensive industry experience, as well as our intimate knowledge of the Marietta, Roswell, Alpharetta, north Fulton, and East and West Cobb real estate markets.

 

Financial information provided by Kathy Vitali of Shelter Mortgage

Graduation Rates Rise at Cobb County Schools

Harrison-High-School-KennesawThe Georgia Department of Education recently released a report on academic success in Georgia, and the results show good news for Cobb County Schools. While Cobb County’s public schools were already well-regarded, the report shows that the Cobb graduation rate has risen to 77%, up one percentage point from the 2012 rate. In contrast, the graduation rate for the State of Georgia is 72 percent, an increase of 2% since last year.

The graduation rates for Cobb County’s top schools are as follows:

  1. Harrison High School in Kennesaw, west Cobb County- 96%
  2. Pope High School in east Cobb County- 92%
  3. Lassiter High School in Marietta, east Cobb County- 91%

In addition to excellent school facilities and teachers, Cobb County students benefit from their involved, educated parents. School board member David Banks points out that east Cobb residents are highly educated, and in many families, both parents are college-educated and hold master’s degrees or doctorates. It’s easy to see that both the residents and educators in this north Atlanta real estate market value education.

If you are interested in buying a house in north Atlanta, contact Barry Wolfert & Lisa Wrenn today. Also be sure to follow us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the latest local news and listings. As experienced Cobb County real estate agents, we can help you find the right home in the right school district for your kids.

Photo via Harrison High School on Facebook